Friday, August 4, 2017

Things to do at 34185 or Why you should buy this house!

There are many things you can do when you buy this house!

You can enjoy breakfast on the patio.


 You can pretend you are in Italy
and enjoy the special ambiance here. 

 You can watch the beautiful birds at the feeders.

(Sometimes deer, pheasant, and quail visit, but they don't like their picture taken.)

You can host large family 
gatherings at 
 Christmas and have a 
nine-foot Christmas tree!

 You can work on a car in the awesome shop and take it from this

to this!

 You can have friends over to stay for awhile in the Guest House.

You can swim in the pool

and be silly! 

You can ride your bike or

drive a go-kart around the house through the portico.


You can have a tea party with your best-est friends and granddaughters!

You can watch the colors change for fall

or the sunrise and pretty snow from INSIDE in the winter.

In the summer you can gaze at all the glorious flowers in the gardens.

And you can watch the sky at night and sometimes see  shooting stars!

But mostly, just mostly, you can call it HOME!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fostering Love Kits for Columbia County, Oregon Foster Kids

Imagine you are a young child going through the uncertainty and trauma of being removed from your home with only a few of your precious belongings stuffed in a garbage sack. Imagine the fear, anger and sadness that would accompany you.

The Fostering Love Kit (originally developed by Katie Mettner from Rice Lake, Wisconsin for foster care children in her county) offers hope and love to a foster child coming into the system in the form of a duffel bag full of comfort and necessity items tailored to their gender and age. These bags are meant to go with the child on the next step(s) of their journey in the Foster Care system.

The Fostering Love Kit for youth ages 3-11 contains a soft blanket and small pillow to wrap up in, a stuffed animal to hug, a coloring book and toy for distraction, a snack for an empty tummy, and a night light and flashlight to keep the dark away. Toiletries included are a washcloth and towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a brush and comb. A large T-shirt and socks are added for temporary sleep ware.

The Fostering Love Kit for infants - 2 is contained in a diaper bag with items necessary for the first several days such as a sleeper, blanket, hat, baby wipes, diapers, baby wash and lotion, a bottle, pacifier, and a small baby toy.

Example of kit for Infant to 2

Example of kit for Youth Girl 3-11


                                        Example of kit for Youth Boy 3-11


The kits contain the following items:

For infant to 2 Years

Diaper Bag


Wash Cloth




Large Sleeper

Baby Wipes

Diapers (Dollar Store has small packs of diapers)


Baby Wash



Rattle or small baby toy

For boy or girl youth 3 to 11 years

Duffel Bag - boy or girl specific (Amazon has bags for kids from $12-30)

Blanket (Small Fleece)

Small Travel Pillow (Walmart has youth pillows – see pictures)

Medium Adult T-shirt for temporary pajamas


Stuffed Animal

Flashlight (Small)

Night Light

Wash Cloth

Towel (hand towel)

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Brush and comb

3 in 1 kid soap (Walmart has White Rain – shampoo - conditioner -body wash)

Toy, book, coloring book and crayons, puzzle book (Dollar Store has a good assortment)

Snack (Animal Crackers, Goldfish and /or Fruit chews)

This will be an ongoing project to help the children moving into foster care in Columbia County. Fostering Love Kits would also be a great project for a church, youth group, Senior project, school group or families who want to make a difference. I would be happy to speak to your group.

If you can help with donations of the items listed above or gift cards to Walmart please contact me, Linda McMann, (Volunteer for Columbia County effort) at 971-227-5250 or via email, Nichole Watkins, Office Manager DHS Child Welfare at, or Ali Daniels, Social Service Assistant DHS Child Welfare at

You can help make a young child's journey a little brighter!   Thank You!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Kauai Vacation 2017

Cris and I spent ten marvelous, relaxing days in Poipu Beach, Kauai with friends Bob and Yvonne in a condo with amazing views! We saw whales jumping and spouting, dolphins frolicking, paddle boarders, and lots of boats from our lanai.
View looking west over Brenneke and Poipu beaches from our lanai

We looked over the top of another group of condos

Over the top of the unit in front of us

 We also saw gorgeous sunsets every evening.

One morning we traveled up to the North Shore past Hanali to visit the the Maniniholo Dry Cave located across from Ha'ena Beach Park. There is folk lore about the formation of this cave. It is named after Maniniholo, the legendary head fisherman of the menehune, Kauai's mythical little people. The menehune fishermen used to catch many fish at Ha'ena. They left some of their catch right here under the cliff and the rest they carried to the menehune in the island's interior. However, when they returned, they noticed that an akua (evil spirit) took the fish they had left there. So to catch the akua, they started digging the cave that you see today.The other explanation is that the ocean used to be higher and the cave was formed from thousands of years of wave action eroding the cliff at its base. If you have a flashlight you can walk a ways back into the darkness. Yvonne and I tried, but we didn't get too far! Scaawy!

We wound our way around to several waterfalls on the way back to the south side of the island.
Opakea'a Falls

Wailua Falls
On our morning walks, we saw Monk Seals and Green Sea Turtles that had come onto the beach for a rest and to warm up and dry off. Since both species are endangered, volunteers were there to rope off the area so they would be undisturbed while they slept.

Isn't that a great face?

The turtles looked exhausted!

On our morning walks we got coffee at Brenneke's and walked along the beach and on the paths of the various waterfront resort hotels.

Our favorite was the Grand Hyatt.

Yvonne and I taking a rest

One morning we drove to the rock outcropping beside Shipwreck Beach to watch the sunrise. To our surprise we found a shipwrecked boat. The man had been out fishing at night and had fallen asleep. His nephew and niece were helping him salvage things from the boat to keep it from completely swamping. We offered help, but they only wanted to use our phone. A real ship wreck on Shipwreck Beach! Luckily the uncle only suffered a gash on his cheek and when we went back two days later, the boat was gone. Someone told us they had seen it on the beach the day before being hooked up to a flatbed tow truck.

Ship-wrecked boat on Shipwreck Beach!
But the sunrise was worth the early morning wake up and the hike!

Another afternoon we drove into Lihue to see the Kauai Marriott Hotel and have a drink at the famous Duke's Bar and Grill.The grounds were stunning.

Our friends Bob and Yvonne

We liked their weather prediction station!

Of course we also had to sample the micro-brews at Kauai Brewery Company on the way home.

Cris gave us a bad time about being hooked to our phones. He caught us "catching up."

Church Service Hawaiian style

Lots of roosters and chickens everywhere!

While we were there we had lots of sun, some wind, and one mondo rain storm. But as one of the locals said, "That's how we get everything so green." I'll leave you with some other shots of our stay!