20 June 2015

That's History: Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a pretty white church with a steeple on top.
In time, the Baptist church members would build another one, then add on to the new church
 and this historic building would be moved to the city's park where it would be preserved for the generations to come.
And that's where I found it on one of my multiple family history research trips to Gresham,
where some of  my Oregon Trail pioneers settled and where their house,
though extensively remodeled, still stands today.
What stories this church told those who paused to listen ---
tales of sermons, worship songs and prayers,
joyous weddings,
sad funerals...
about families and individuals living in community with one another through good times and bad.
Stories of life.
Can you hear them?

Alas, these church walls can no longer speak to us or to anyone.
You see, about a year after this picture was taken, an arsonist silenced them --
No more pretty white church in the park.
No more stories.
Sad, how a violent act of one or two can affect a community for a very long time.
Can affect the many generations that follow who come to connect and remember their family's past.
I've seen it happen with this church,
 and in a cemetery my son and I once photographed years ago as a RAOGK volunteer.
Vandalism,  arson, destruction.
Truly selfish, senseless and loveless acts.
But, as I type this, my mind is on another historical church miles away from here.
A selfish, hateful act took its sad toll there this past week...
not on a building, but on the people who gathered there
 for peaceful prayer and study.
Sad. Incredibly sad.
Prayers for those touched by this senseless and cruel act of violence
that God will ease the aching of their hurting hearts.
May God bring some good from this evil.
Prayers also for the young man who took so very much from so very many.
May he someday find forgiveness and saving grace from the One who freely offers it.
Kyrie eleison.
Dona nobis pacem.
Blessings, Aimee
Bethel Baptist Church, photo taken with my old camera in 2003
(found a beautiful pdf article on the church, but am no longer able to access it.)
(article, written by a descendant of Peter Engles who helped build the church. Has another
photo of the church, without the steeple--not sure when this was taken. Also has some very neat historical photos of the family.)
RAOGK=random acts of genealogical kindness. Their website is here:
Next: a happier post. Peace.

09 June 2015

Answering The Call Of The Cove

This past weekend brought two lovelies into my life--
the first was a predicted negative low tide in several places;
the second was a certain lovely Small One who came to spend the weekend.
With that winning combination, it was a given we'd be exploring tidepools somewhere...
and, after some research I knew just which beach.
It was a beach from my childhood.
A beach with a pretty little creek that flows into the sea,
a lovely little cove and tidepools!
And as luck would have it, we arrived to some very lovely fog which made it all the more magical!
With high temperatures forecasted for the valley,
and this being a popular state park, I expected crowds.
Surprisingly, the parking lot was nearly empty.
My thanks to the following for the lovely almost empty parking lot:
the Goonie Festival (Astoria)
and the Rose Festival (Portland),
the forecast of lovely fog,
those who love to sleep in on the weekends
the wonderful timing for the negative low tide.
Thank YOU, thank you all!
The north part of the beach was a different world--
a lovely rocky world with...

colorful agates and assorted pebbles

and sea life.
I loved it a lot...
even after I slipped on a rock right into a tidepool I still loved it!
Even with an ankle that's still a bit sore and a scrapped up face,
I STILL loved it!
And I will...

I WILL be back.
After all, my camera survived the fall:)

Oregon Coast Trail Guide for the area (pdf file)
Fogarty Creek State Park (state park info)
About tide tables
All about tidepools (species, safety and more)
The tide was forecast to be -1.2 when we went. LOVE those negative low tides!

04 June 2015

That's History: A Certain Burger Family + The House That is No More

Yep, I recall those days.
The days of the Burger Family.
May 2012
Cold frosty glass mugs filled with yummy root beer...
Hot burgers of varying sizes with familiar names...
Yep, I remember.
Do you?
Found this bit of history on a drive through Hillsboro some years ago
(as opposed to a drive-thru...) LOL
Kind of makes me hungry for a baby burger, a float and maybe, just maybe, some French fries.
Good thing the Farmer Boy is asleep and I hate driving at night.
Oh well...
Another memory from the past some  might be familiar with is this building found on Highway 47...
 for years it has stood (well more or less stood) near Forest Grove.
We always looked for it and I think my parents had an ongoing joke that it
would be their retirement home someday.
It probably was quite nice in its time
(I have a thing for old houses).
A fairly well known landmark,
over time wind, storms, rain, age and more took its toll. 
You could see its days were numbered...
Then, very early this year,
when traveling through the area,
 I noticed something was very, very wrong!
Oh, oh.
Sadly I didn't get a photo then...
but next trip through I snapped several.
I shall miss her.
The area just doesn't seem the same.
BTW, because I always, always just HAVE to know
this was the Heesacker house and
you can find a couple of interesting articles on its history on Oregon Live.
The first is from July 2013 and the second is from autumn of 2014 shortly after she collapsed.
 Well that's all on history for the blog tonight.
Now it's time to work on my family history.

01 June 2015

Of Heritage Celebrations, A Very Special Iris Garden + Going Home

Recently, one of my ancestral clans--the Macfie clan--observed a special day, and I, of course,  
decided it was a great excuse to have a bit of a celebration and try out some new recipes too.
As usual, I did tons of planning--
even if there was just going to be the two of us---
and then REAL life interfered and I postponed everything for a day.  
But the following day, a Thursday, REAL life actually allowed me to make 
a version of traditional Scottish Shepherd's Pie
(albeit a somewhat easier version) AND dinner was only a little late that evening.

Of course, I also took the time to dig out my one and only Scottish tartan
 (stored safely away from any and all wool loving moths) to use as a table runner...
I guess I should pause right now,
for all you tartan experts out there,
and for any Macfie clan descendants too,
and say that this is NOT the correct tartan for the Macfies...
in my somewhat weak defense,
I am descended from quite a few clans (probably 6 or 7) AND
I figured my honorable ancestors, of the Macfie clan, would be OK with me using a different tartan as they did intermarry with the Macfarlane clan--as well as other clans--here in the New World.
(Besides I have both Macfie and Macfarland blood in me from those lovely matches AND I was trying to be thrifty and not buy everything at the Scottish shop a few years ago. LOL)
Shall we continue?
Yes? OK.
Too full from lamb, mashed potatoes, mushrooms and carrots,
I held off on the shortbread part of the dessert till the next day...
and, even if it wasn't homemade, it was pretty tasty stuff!
(I ask you, how can the lovely combination of raspberries, butter,
white chocolate
 and other yummy ingredients be anything but good?)
Finally, I hope to finish off my very own Scottish celebration by making some cranachan this week.
(Cranachan is a traditional dessert made of toasted oats, whipped cream, raspberries and honey)
I have been wanting to try some since a couple of years ago when
Jackie at Homestead Wannabes posted about it.
Here's the link to her recipe:
Who knows? Maybe real life will allow me to make my own shortbread this week too.
Jackie has made her OWN haggis also --
now that is just super amazing:)
Well enough of the celebrating and on to flowers!
For awhile now, I had been wanting to visit a
particular iris garden, but it never worked out.
Until this year that is.

Besides their countless varieties of irises
(so frilly and some nicely fragrant), the gardens were filled with...

a HUGE variety of other flowers...
and a very adorable bunny I ALMOST got a picture of:)

They had two large display gardens --
and a lovely woodland in between.
There was also a pond, a garden shop (closed when we were there)
 and fields filled with even more irises!
Clematis, roses, columbines (always a favorite of mine!), peonies,
poppies, tall rhododendrons and so much more--I can't
even list the wide variety of plants we saw there.
LOVED it:) 
Lots of green grass in between the landscaped beds,
a "hidden" garden feel,
shady AND sunny areas were all BIG pluses too!

It truly was one of the most peaceful places I have been to--
a place, filled with many Adirondack benches and chairs which seemed to say "Stay and sit awhile".
I will definitely try to make it back there next year!
Oh, oh.
Definitely well PAST bedtime here...
guess the "going home" part of this post will have to wait for another day
Happy June 1st to you!
A recipe for Shepherd's Pie
(I had to substitute and change some things because it was THAT type of day--
note to self: allow more time when trying a recipe for the first time).
Garden/flower photos:
All taken this spring at Schreiner's Iris Garden in the Salem area.
Here is a link to them: http://www.schreinersgardens.com/
Yes, this is another one of THOSE early morning posts as I totally
expect REAL LIFE to interfere with internet time today so am doing it now...
thanks for AGAIN choosing to forgive any and all mistakes :)

22 May 2015

Seventeen Minute Post

Once upon a time there was a blogger--let's call her Aimee.
And this certain blogger lived in between the land of reality and make believe...
located somewhere near the beautiful Oregon beaches and the mountains.
one day she looked in horror at her somewhat neglected blog
and realized it had been 17 days since she had last posted.
But she also realized her hubby would soon be home
and she had been somewhat neglectful in doing
 the laundry,
the dishes,
the organizing,
the weeding,
the cleaning...
So she decided that she was going to attempt what she had never done before---
a 17 minute post
(to honor those 17 days she didn't post).
On your mark,
get set,
Lovely iris in the midst of those weeds I mentioned...
Top of lovely iris in the midst of those wonderful weeds...
Lovely columbine (we have them multiplying like rabbits this year)...
in the midst of more wonderful weeds
(which sadly are multiplying like weeds this year).
Farm life we passed on a road earlier this month...
they were, to say the least, preoccupied with other --
more important to chickens things,
Kiwi blossoms!
Lots of kiwi blossoms!
Lots of baby raspberries too...
Lots of bees here too!
And, at my sibling's home...
lots of babies.
Baby ducks and baby chicks!
So that would make me--
you got it...
an Aimee aunt:)
Thank you SO very much for all your kind comments on the previous post!
Though some dreams must die,
and some dreams change...
there is still time for lots of good dreams:)

05 May 2015

When It Rains, Sometimes It Pours (But I'm Not Referring To Precipitation)

April was not a good month. No it definitely was not!
I was either sick, recovering from being sick and exhausted all month. Along with that I lost my inspiration for blogging at some point and our high speed Internet earlier in the month than usual.
Then there were the "other" things...
Sad sigh #1:
We found out that my Chef son is -- yet again -- moving south. I will really miss our conversations, hikes and drives together, his wonderful cooking...basically I will totally and completely miss seeing him. Sometimes it's really, really hard to be a mom.
Sad sigh #2:
Found out that my best friend of almost 30 years is also moving. She's been there for me through some of the hardest times of my life. And she's more than just a good friend, she's a sister-in-Christ...I already miss her immensely and the move hasn't happened yet. I just have to keep focusing on how grateful I am to God for blessing her with this wonderful opportunity.
Sad sigh #3:
A much anticipated trip to one of my favorite places in the US fell through--a place of many memories and lovely landscapes. Soooo disappointed.
Well, there's more---but I think that's more than enough sad sighs for one blog post,
don't you agree? :)
So, on a more positive note, here's some good things that happened this April...
Our furnace broke (thank you LORD for getting us through the winter, keeping us safe AND making me aware that there was a problem before something really AWFUL happened ). My wonderfully talented hubby was able to repair it for the total cost of about $10 (let me hear another thank you God!)...
 I -- finally -- had the courage to stand up to one of the slithery ones and, wouldn't you know it, he didn't back down...But at least I lasted a few seconds before my retreat. Yea!
My Chef son promises to send me his gumbo recipe this month! Ever since Teresa started to post her photos from New Orleans and Louisiana, I have been totally inspired to work on my family lines from the South (especially making progress on extended New Orleans family--yippee!). And then, with all those great photos of southern food, I started getting interested in the cuisine of the south--hence my need for the gumbo recipe. Mmm.  Now if I could just afford a trip south...LOL.
Maybe someday!
(And a BIG thank you to Teresa for sharing her trip photos and helping to inspire me)
Though technically in early, early May, I had the opportunity to try some new foods. The first, tendon, was -- well it was interesting. If you've ever had pho, you may have already had this. It doesn't taste bad at all...but the texture is -- well, the texture of tendon is memorable and stayed with me a long, long time. A very long time. However, the flavor of the pho was fabulous and I devoured every single drop of it - tendon and all.
Also in very early May, I had a most wonderful rhubarb hand pie at one of the most wonderful bakeries in all of Portland (Baker + Spice in SW Portland)...let's just say I will be making some of these soon God willing. YUM! Additionally, I've been munching on some yummy cardomom bread from a fav Scandinavian shop...
My Bible reading for 2015 is coming right along and I will most likely be done well before year's end. YEA! I've been much more disciplined and consistent about it this year...usually I have to play catch up:) And, speaking of reading, I was FINALLY able to located a beloved book I first started reading on a stay at Leirvangen, a Norwegian B+B years ago. Can't wait to immerse myself in the land of fire and ice again...oh, and pretend I am riding a Icelandic horse:)
Well that was April, but now it's May --
and May always brings some good, good memories!
By the way,
 Feliz cinco de mayo a todos mis amigos y mi familia :)
~ * ~
Marquam Hill Trail, photo 1
Seaside Beach (access at 12th Street), photos 2, 3, 4, 10
Tryon Creek State Park, photo 5
Seaside Beach (The Cove), photos 6, 7, 8
Yummy pho, photo 9

Link to Teresa's fabulous LA posts:
(this is part 2 of 3 parts; they're all wonderful!)

A special thank you to my son for letting me borrow some of  his photos for the blog
and for forgetting the much loved and most wonderful "M" cookware here--tee hee!
Love you!

BAD HTML...oh well, time to do other things ;)

16 April 2015

Into the Woods + A Little Surprise for Small One

Spring break was a busy one for us this year. On Wednesday, I was down in the Newport area with my best friend and her grandson. Then, on the following Sunday, we visited Regatta Park and a new beach in Lincoln City with tidepools (LOVE tidepools). But the day before that we were in the valley at Milo McIver State Park enjoying...

hiking on a trail there.
We arrived soon after the Vortex Half Marathon and 10K Trail Run ended...
hence the lovely white arrows on the bridge and elsewhere.
Vortex I, for those who may not know, was a rock festival held at Milo McIver SP
 just about 45 years ago. I don't recall hearing about it at that time, but quite a few people showed up at this--believe it or not--state sponsored event. If you're interested in learning more about it, you can follow the link above to the wiki article. There was also a OPB special on it quite awhile ago--that was where I first learned about it.
Anyway, MMSP is quite a pretty place between the woodlands filled with lots and lots of green,
the Clackamas River, the creek and the views one can catch--on a clear day--of Mt. Hood.

I love the wildflowers of the PNW:)

I believe this is Dog Creek...
I couldn't believe all of the shades of green!
Truly amazing.
Spring is awesome for greens here--
right now our mountainsides look gorgeous!
And of course, our primary reason for being at MM that day...

the Clackamas Fish Hatchery!
We thought little Miss would enjoy seeing the HUGE ponds that hold a lot of growing fish.
(She did)
And then there was a little surprise -- for her and for us...

One of the very kind workers there let her (and a few others) help feed the fish!
Can you believe that?
Totally cool!
BTW, she did pretty well and really enjoyed doing it!

This time we also took a peek inside the small visitor building which contains the incubation room and displays showing the life cycle of the fish--from zygote (isn't that the coolest word? LOL) to fry (oh, oh...when I see that word, my mind wonders to eating. Bad me).

 Another great thing about MM?
We often see horses being ridden on the trails there.  
Makes me want one again...

Milo McIver State Park
Here's a link for more info

And now back to researching my latest idea for a trip...
this one will be a trip down memory lane:)
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