Showing you Oregon,one post at a time. Did you know that I post the links of many of my stories and articles on the sidebar? When you have extra time, please scroll down to see more. At the bottom of this page there are links to many other blogs that I enjoy.

Hello, friends, thank you so much for stopping by. I really hope that you will enjoy your visit to Oregon Gifts. Due to spam, I am not accepting comments from anonymous people. Please email me at: if you are unable to leave a comment on here. I write back through email when I can.

My words and photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without permission, even on Pinterest.

~ Kathy M.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Recent Reads: "Mercy" by Jodi Picoult

Source:  Bing Images

by Jodi Picoult
c. 1996

This is my second review of a Jodi Picoult novel this month, and I enjoyed this book much more than the other one.  It is about some folks living in the small town of Wheelock, Massachusetts.  Two of the folks are new to town, and both bring their own type of drama.

Allie owns a flower shop, her husband Cam is the reluctant Chief of Police (a job handed down from his father with some sort of Scottish clan obligation attached).  Cam's mother, Ellen, has turned new-age after the death of her husband, and is in the process of becoming a holistic healer.  I liked her.  Cam's cousin, Jamie, smothers his cancer ridden wife with a pillow at her request, and prepares to stand trial.  Graham is his newbie attorney.  The new chick in town, Mia, begins working at Allie's flower shop and then proceeds to sleep with Allie's husband.  Nice, Mia.

Allie feels lucky to have married the popular boy from high school and she spoils him rotten.  Cam takes her for granted.  Not really a bad sort of husband overall, but he falls for the new girl in town and becomes reckless.  One thing that really makes me mad about him is that he and Mia do it in Allie's personal spaces (the flower shop, their bedroom, etc.)  This book delves into several forms of love relationships, exploring the feelings and motives of the main characters as they do what they do.

I probably won't re-read it, but it was pretty good.  I still have a few unanswered questions, but they are minor.  I was relieved that there were not as many themes threaded throughout this book as there were in "Change of Heart".   Here is a list of the main ones in this story:  mercy killing, illicit affairs, forgiveness, floral shops, bonsai, death, ghosts, obligations, the justice system and trials, the language of flowers, love, loyalty, clans, and cats in backpacks.

Kathy M.

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's Happening Wednesday:

Source:  "Top News Today"

Sally at Retired English Teacher writes on her blog today about the fire in Colorado Springs, CO.  It is now out of control, and they need "prayers and rain".  I can't do much about the rain, but you guys sure do have my prayers.  I feel so badly for you that this is happening.  Sally provides a news link for live streaming, and you can "CLICK HERE" to get to go to KOAA.  Also, Samaritan's Purse is one of the organizations helping fire victims.  Their fire link information can be found by "CLICKING HERE".

UPDATE:  Here is Sally's latest report on the fire, "Smoke, Rain and Wind".


 "Family Time"
On Sunday, they had another party that I didn't make it over to the valley for, and here are the pictures that my sister sent me.  Thank you, Aunt Julie.  I am sorry that we missed out on the gathering, it looks like it was so much fun.

Jill, Kari, Aunt Loveta, Shelley, Julie, Kristin and Dad

Kari, Casey, Zane, Liza, Kristin, Julie and Shilo
Dad, Tommy and Jill

"Stuff I Like"

Yesterday, I went to the local library "Book Nook" sale and bought all of the books above for $13.00.  Quite a score!  I met a very nice woman there, Esther, and we had quite a lot in common.  Last night, I enjoyed reading "Chicken Soup for the TEACHERS Soul". 

I like these vitamins.  They taste good and they don't give me a belly-ache.  And, they make me feel better.  I'm just sayin'.

"Snap Guide"
Have you guys heard about Snap Guide yet?  My daughter Kari told me about it last night and I checked it out.  It is sort of like Pinterest, but the site focuses on tutorials on how to make things.  All sorts of things, from smoothies to cell phone covers to getting wax out of candles jars.  Here is the link, if you would like to check it out Snap   I just might get involved with this one, because I have so many tutorials already written.

"Eight Years"
Yesterday was our 8th Wedding Anniversary!  Wendy M., from Jollette, Etc. sent me this message:  "Traditionally it's the bronze or pottery year; modern is linen or lace. And the 8 looks like the infinity symbol -- how perfect!"

Cary brought me these roses:

 Here are a few of pictures from our wedding:

Our grandson Garrett was the ring-boy and Cary's dad, Troy, was the best man.

Kristin and Kari were my bridesmaids and my Mom was my matron of honor.  It was a fun day.  There were around 250 folks there, and we had it in a local R.V. park.  We had a potluck, swimming, a band and then karaoke.


Facebook is up to more nonsense.  Apparently, they have have assigned everybody new emails, and are posting them on our profile pages, hiding the ones that we like others to use.  They didn't tell anybody, they just did.  In addition, these new emails are not ones that just forward messages to our phones and old email addresses either.  They are able to be opened by others besides us; Facebook authorities, whoever they are.  If you want to change things back to the old way, it is easy, but you have to go into your contact info and edit it.  

They also want my phone number.  Heck, no on that one!  Who really knows who owns Facebook now anyway?  If it wasn't so convenient and if I didn't have so much fun with it, I would quit.  But, I'm just not ready to that yet.  I'll keep on dancing and dodging around their tricks the best that I can, for the time being.  Facebook privacy issues sure do keep me about you?

"Norton Anti-Virus"

Speaking of nonsense, Norton Anti-Virus really ticked me off the other day.  I would be switching tabs from Facebook to my blog, and get a pop-up that said my blog was spam and to not go there.  Now that really made me upset.  It is my blog, and it is not spam to me.  So, I called up the customer service department at Norton, and though nice, the woman said that she couldn't do anything about it herself.  She did tell me that I was up-to-date with my subscription.  She wanted to transfer me over to the people who could fix it for me, but it would cost me around $70.00   I said, no, not right now, that I was on my way out the door.  I actually was, I was going on my date with Cary.

Before we left, I tried one more thing.  I ran the free program that I had been using to scan and fix registry errors.  Then, I deleted it, just in case it was giving my computer conflicting information.  After that, I rebooted the computer and everything was fixed.  I am still not sure if Norton was trying to drum up some business for themselves, or if the other program was causing a problem.  I have had the other program on for a couple of months, and the Norton pop-up thing just began on Saturday.  Anybody know anything about this?  Because if Norton is messing with me, I don't want to do business with them any longer.

Well, this is long enough.  I hope that you all have a wonderful day!

~ Kathy M.

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vintage St. Louis, MO Postcards:

All of the above postcards came from my Great Uncle John's collection.  He was good about buying cards in his travels and saving them for later.  For us, it seems, years later.  Thanks, Uncle John!

So, there you are, my friends.  If you enjoyed this story, please visit my Sepia Saturday friends by "CLICKING HERE" to find other neat photos and stories.  To read more about my family and other stories featuring old photos, memories and more, please look for this picture of me and my dad on the left-hand sidebar and read whatever else catches your fancy.  Thanks so much for visiting!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dinner at Anthony's in Bend, Oregon:

Last night, I got invited out on a date.  I was to make the decisions; come up with the ideas.  The pressure was on.

Where did I want to eat?  We still have our Christmas gift certificates for The Olive Garden and the movie theater, but decided to wait to use those at another time.  We were both in the mood for seafood.  What about McGrath's?  Well, we have been there several times, so let's try something else. Okay. What about that place in the Old Mill District, where Mitzi takes us for lunch?  Whatever you, want, honey, it is your choice. 

So that is where I chose for us to go, to Anthony's.  Here is my little review of our experience.  

It was early, around 6:00.  As Cary was finishing up his cigarette outside, I went in to see if there was a waiting list for a table.  The hostesses swooped me right up and were ready to seat me that second.  I was a bit unnerved.  I said, but wait, my husband is still outside.  I ran out to tell him to hurry up, they had a table for us.  He said that he would be in soon. 

I went back inside and said, he'll be here in just a second.  They said, that is okay, we can go ahead and seat you.  We will tell him where you are.  Whatever.  This set the tone for the whole experience, really.  Everybody was very nice and professional, but I felt rushed the whole time that we were there.  I know that the staff would be surprised to hear me say that, because they were only trying to provide the best service possible.  An exception, our waiter didn't make me feel that way, he was a sweetheart.  There was just so much action around there.

Because we were early, there were many tables available.   I have worked in restaurants over the years, and I know that you have to divvy people out among the wait staff so that they can do their job well.  It just happens that our waiter had tables right across the isle from the huge, open and noisy kitchen.  The whole restaurant was very noisy (it is built like a warehouse), but a table closer to the windows with a view of the Deschutes would have been preferable. 

Still, we hadn't made reservations nor asked for anything extra special, so I decided to just go with it and see how things panned out ... and then blog about it later.  It is kind of like being a secret shopper.

This is my date.  Cary easily found me; they probably said oh, we stuck you guys right across from the kitchen, you can't miss her.  Nobody can miss the kitchen in this place, it is the centerpiece!

Our waiter was a nice young man, and he brought me a delicious glass of Merlot.  It was $7, tasted like grapes and I really liked it.  At home I drink my wine out of Jimmy Buffett mugs, and spend $7 for a whole bottle, so this was a treat.  I felt like a grown up, holding that dainty wine glass.

It came time to order.  The prices were very expensive, but perhaps this has to do with the freshness of the seafood.  Bread comes with your order, but not salad.  Cary chose the trout for $18 and I chose the seafood fettuccine for $21.

As we were waiting for our meal to arrive, I began to get used to the noise.  Or perhaps the wine was having its desired effect.  This place is full of staff, and is run like a well-oiled machine.  It was kind of like watching t.v., so I took a few pictures without the flash.  I didn't want to tip them off about being a spy.  Our waiter noticed, but nobody else did.

Cary was observing the young woman with the apron.  He said, look at her, look at her what her job is.  She makes sure that the food looks good, puts grass on it, and adds the sauces.  (I think that she was actually adding garnishes such as parsley instead of grass, but he knows how to make me laugh.)

What I noticed about her was that when she was done with making things pretty, she'd say, "Anna!  You're up!" or "Kristin! You're up!"   For some reason, I never noticed her having to call for one of the guy waiters.  She was really good at her job though.

This was Cary's dinner.  He said that it was very, very good.  It sure does look good:

This was mine.  Mine came with a little metal bowl and tiny fork so that I could get the shells off of the muscles.  I had to work a bit to eat my dinner, but it was delicious:

We were in and out of there quickly, and the two dinners and one glass of wine came to $46.00.  Our waiter was great, and the food was too.  I don't know if I will want to go back soon though.  It is so loud in there, and wasn't very relaxing. 

So, there you go. Take this review for what it is, a description of our experience at Anthony's in Bend, Oregon.

~ Kathy M.

To read about our lunch experience at Anthony's with Mitzi, please "CLICK HERE".

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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