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, August 31, 2012

Half-Price Thursdays at St. Vincent de Paul:

Yesterday, I was feeling rich!  I had received a check in the mail from 1859 Oregon Magazine for $150.00.  They are using a couple of pictures that they found on my blog, and they paid me for it.  That is the first money that I have made off of here, except for selling some cards that I made a couple of years ago. 

The money was burning a hole in my pocket, but I needed to buy groceries with most of it.  As I was on my way to deposit the check, I realized that it was good deal day at St. Vincent de Paul.  I decided to swing in and treat myself to something that would make me happy ... more books.

Our local St. Vincent de Paul store is pretty neat, and it seems to be getting even better under new management.  I hadn't been there for several months.  I had errands to do downtown La Pine yesterday, and there was a sign out front of the store mentioning that it was half-price day.  The last Thursday of the month is always half-price day, though I usually don't remember.  I have been wanting to add to the children's library inside my Mom Cave, and St. Vinnie's has a great used book area, though the books cost more there than those at the local library's Book Nook.

I found a 1969 set of Golden Book Encyclopaedias for $2.50.  That is 17 books!  I would have bought them in anycase for the original asking price of $5.00.

There was a set of 41 Disney Books that ended up only costing me $10.00.  They are like brand-new.  The lady in charge of the book section said that she had meant to exclude these from the sale, but that I found them first, fair and square.  She also took my number and will call me when she gets some more Jane Kirkpatrick books in.  Those fly out the door faster than you can imagine.

The three Little Golden Books totaled .38; the novels were between $1.00 and $1.50.  I did see 1939 book that I wanted that was not half-price, for $25.00.  The back of it still has a sticker from another vendor, who wanted $150.00 for it.  I'll need to think about that one a bit more.

The macrame beads cost me $1.50, and the vintage looking angel and fan set were $1.00.

Isn't she pretty?  She is made from resin, so she may not be very old, but I like her.

This metallic fabric was originally $4.00 and I bought it for $2.00.  I think that it will make nice snakes, lizards and starfish someday.

The yarn was listed at $11 and I bought it for $5.50.  I imagined it as hair on my sock dolls that I want to begin making again.  I spent a total of $31.38 yesterday, and that included 68 books!  Now I just need a place to put them.  

Wondering about the dolls?  This is the second doll that I made, and I liked her so much I sent her to Piper Palin (this was four years ago, after watching her on t.v. holding her little brother).   

I found a copy of Jennifer Weiner's "Fly Away Home" while I was at St. Vinnie's, and got right to work reading it after I returned home and settled in.  I am also looking forward to reading the two books that I won last month from my friend Becky Povich's blog.  They are "Knit One Pearl One" by Gil McNeil and "Never Change" by Elizabeth Berg. Thanks, Bec!

I wanted to show you these pictures of the front and back of this purse that my sister Julie made several years ago.  She hand-painted them, and they are so pretty.  My friend Connie at Crafty Home Cottage has begun decorating purses to sell, and has posted some pictures of them on her blog, if you would like to take a look.

Well, that is about it for today.  I know that I haven't been around much this week.  I have been busy at work and haven't been able to think of what to write on here.  I began an article about bedbugs and I still need to figure out what to do for Sepia Saturday this week. 

Hope that you have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend, if you live in the states.  Let's remember to keep those battered by Hurricane Issac in our prayers.  What a mess they have down there right now.

Take care,

~ Kathy M. 

P.S. - After reading over this post for grammar and spelling errors, I somehow realized that fall is here.  It has been in the 30's at night all week.  Fall stirs my creative juices and always makes me want to start making things again.  I think that I will begin working on those dolls pretty soon.

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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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blue Moon Eve:

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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Monday, August 27, 2012

Lovin' the 5th Wheel: Trips

Cary and I are finally feeling comfortable with our new rig and are really enjoying it now.  It just takes us a few minutes to set it up and put it away, and even hooking it up to the truck is getting easier.

I've decided to make a new category on the sidebar about the excursions that we will be taking in our home away from home.  Last weekend, we drove the four hours to Vancouver, Washington to meet up with some of Cary's previous co-workers.

We stayed in a clean and compact RV park, for $35.00 per night.  Aptly named Vancouver RV Park, it had everything you needed for a comfortable stay, except for a swimming pool.


We arrived around 3:30 on Friday afternoon.  Our friends Eldon and Kathy met us there, and helped us get settled in.

Then Lee arrived with refreshments, and we visited until it was time to go to Chinese food for dinner. 

After dinner, Lee went home and the rest of us went to the local bowling alley and sang karaoke.  Kathy and Eldon are very good singers, and it was fun to meet their friends and join in on the fun.

Cary, Kathy and Eldon


The Kathys

The next afternoon at 4:00, Eldon and Kathy came and picked us up.  We went to Danny and Corinne's for a BBQ.  There were close to twenty of us, and we had a very nice evening.

Jim and Cary

Eldon and Bob

Ron, Corrine and Jodi

The food was plentiful and delicious.

Lee and Jim

The next morning, we got up and set out for home.  When we got to the top of Mt. Hood, we stopped in Rhododendron for breakfast.  This little restaurant is wonderful!  The food was fresh from scratch and the service was great.

This place was great!

They have this guy sitting at the counter.  At first I didn't recognize that he was only a doll:

Enjoying that coffee?

This truck was parked right outside the window of our booth.  The custom paint job was pretty special.  All the names of the people in this guys family who had served in the military was written on the side:

Proud to be an American.

Thank you for your sacrifices and for your service.

And there was this huge metal wheel there too.  I don't know what it was used for back in the day, do you?

We stopped at the new casino in Warm Springs. You used to have to drive in 13 long miles to get to the KahNee Ta Resort and casino, but they have since separated the two.  The casino is now located right on the highway at the town of Warm Springs.  It was very nice inside, and we broke even after an hour then headed on home.

It was a fun weekend!  Now I need to clean up the trailer and we will be taking it to the dealer for minor service work before we take off again.

~ 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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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recent Reads: "Firefly Lane" by Kristin Hannah; "A Map of the World" by Jane Hamilton and "When Joy Came to Stay" by Karen Kingsbury

Hi!  I'm playing catch up on here today about the last three books that I have read.  All three were good, but one I will be keeping on my bookshelf next to "The Help" and "The Secret Life of Bees", if my Mom doesn't make me give it back to her.  

I'll be telling you about each book in the order that I read them.

"Firefly Lane"
by Kristin Hannah
c. 2008

Firefly Lane was the name of the street in a small town in Washington where Kate lived, and Tully moved to, in the early 1970's.  The two became fast and best friends, and the story follows them throughout their lives.

This is the first Kristin Hannah book that I have read.  I thought that it was really good.  I enjoyed how she researched what was popular and important to us growing up in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and into the 2000's.  Music, toys, fashions and the rest; Firefly Lane was a fun culture review.  I also liked the fact that the book was set in the Pacific Northwest, mainly in the Seattle area.

Tully is a go-getter who has to fend for herself when she is stuck with her the alcoholic/pot-smoking mother.  When she isn't with her mom, she lives with her grandparents.  Circumstances occur where Tully ends up moving in with Kate and her family during the girls last year of high school.  The dominant person in the best friend dynamic, Tully plans out the lives of both her and Kate.  She often oversteps her bounds, is a bit self-centered, and doesn't like to apologize.

Kate is a good girl with a great family.  Over time she decides that instead of becoming a career woman who gets rich and famous, she would rather be a stay-at-home mother.  From the beginning,  Kate struggles with her high-strung oldest child, Marah.  Kate's husband is crazy about Kate, and the twin boys are much easier to deal with than Marah ever was.

This is a really good story, with a lot of details and character development.  There are a few small things that could have been edited out though. For instance, every time that Kate went into her living room, she had to pick up toy dinosaurs.  Never Lego's or Superman figurines, or anything else.  I don't know why minor stuff like that bugs me, but it does.  I'll be going along and thinking, geeze, don't those little boys have anything to play with besides dinosaurs?

The end of the book gets sad, and I did cry, but it gives us some important information and it was very well done.

So, is this the one that I am going to keep on my shelves forever?  No, not this one.  It is a good read though; and a great book to sit in your lawn chair by the lake to keep you company.  That is where I read most of it!

I give it two thumbs up, and will read more of Hannah's books when I see them.

"A Map of the World"
by Jane Hamilton
c. 1994

Oh, my, did I love this book.  It was meaty.  The language was a treat.  The story was so deep, and so good.  At first, I had to put it down, because I had just finished that other book, "The Haunted".  I was in the mood for something more uplifting and during the first chapter of "A Map of the World", disaster strikes so I chose to read "Firefly Lane" instead.  When I got back to this book though, it wasn't the sad story that I thought it going to be.

The people in "A Map of the World" are excellently developed and you don't even feel like you are reading a book about fictional characters.  It is more like watching a movie, come to think of it.  That is when you know that a book is soooo good!  I later learned that there was a  movie  made from this book in 1999, starring Sigourney Weaver.

The story features Alice, a farm wife to Howarad and school nurse with two children and a best friend, living in a small town who views them as the family of outsiders.  While Alice is babysitting her best friend Theresa's daguther, Lizzy, well, um, Lizzy drowns in the farm pond.

Oh, but things get even worse for Alice after that.  Besides the guilt and depression that follows Lizzy's death, Alice is accused of a horrendous crime from some children at school. She spends several months in jail because the bail is set so high that her husband can't afford to get her released.  

Though I have told you those two main themes that run throughout the book, don't worry, you find all of that stuff out right away on your own.  It is how everybody relates to each other, and how they work through their sorrow and problems that really makes this story work.

Yep, this one is the keeper!  It is older, 1994, and is written by the same person who wrote "The Story of Ruth", another book that I have kept for years and years.  Two plus thumbs up for sure on this book.  I considered it excellent.

I have learned that Jane Hamilton is still writing away, and here is her website, if you would like to learn more about her:  "Jane Hamilton"

 "When Joy Came To Stay"
by Karen Kingsbury
c. 2000

"When Joy Came To Stay" is a Christian novel about a columnist named Maggie Johnson Stovall and her struggles.  She suffers a nervous breakdown due to the fact that she has suppressed her anger and lied about the baby that she gave up for adoption prior to marrying her husband Ben.  After checking herself into a Christian psychiatric hospital, Maggie comes to terms with her issues.  Her husband Ben comes to terms with his own idealistic and sometimes judgmental view of what it means to be a Christian.

In the middle of everything, the little girl, Amanda Joy, who was adopted out at birth, loses her adoptive parents in a car accident.  This leads her through a string of foster homes, each one getting worse than the last.

Karen Kingsbury is a very good writer.  She patiently walks us through everything, and spells the story out from a believer's point of view.  I have a feeling that the editing in this book may have taken away parts of the story.  Because Kingsbury is so detailed in her writing I can't figure out why so many little pieces are missing.  I was left with many unanswered questions, but mostly on the minor stuff.

The themes in this book are depression, mental breakdowns, prayer, faith, the small quiet voice of God, the foster care system, caseworkers, counselors, judging others, grace and forgiveness.

I will read other books by Karen Kingsbury when I see them.  She actually has inspired me to consider writing a Christian book of my own someday.  I do think that Ms. Kingsbury could have expanded on her scripture choices however, as she kept using the same ones over and over again.  Still, it was a good book, easy to read, and it kept me engaged. 

Also, I happened to be very worried about a family member with mental illness and had put a call out for prayers as I was reading this book.  It seemed to be a case of perfect timing to have chosen this book to read when I did. 

~ 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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