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

~ Kathy M.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What We Have Been Up To:

Hello.  Sorry that I have been away from here for so long.  Things have been pretty busy around here.  Ken's service was sad but wonderful, with around 400 people present and another 250 watching it online.  My sister Julie and her friends were remarkable.  

I printed out 413 photos through Costco and made three albums, one each for Julie and for Boon and Kaz, (Ken's boys.)  Sometimes, hard-copies are just better than the computer. 

A couple of days before we left to go to Brownsville for the service, Cary and I bought ourselves our Christmas present, a nice electric fireplace from Costco.  (I spotted it when I was picking up the pictures.)  We had been wanting one for a long time, and have enjoyed the ones in the 5th wheel, so we bit the bullet and went for it.  We are really enjoying it, but it trips the breaker, so we will need to plug it in on the other side of the room once we get a good extension cord.







All of us, including Dana and Johnny, 
like the fireplace very much.


One thing led to another to make room for it, and I have ended up doing a lot of cleaning and organizing lately.  The window ledge needs work, but I am letting that go until I start in on decorating for Christmas.




I am trying to un-clutter the walls, and I am getting there, but still have a lot to do.  See all the black picture frames on the entrance wall?  I had those all over the place.  Most of them are in the guest room now.  Making progress, a little at a time.


This is as much as I decorated for fall this year.  I bought these pumpkins and squash at the pumpkin patch with Jeri in October, and they have lasted a long time.

 




I brought in some of the lawn furniture and made a neat little sitting area between the kitchen and dining room.  I really like it.  Johnny sleeps on the love-seat sometimes.  I haven't caught him on the counter yet!







After I was done with the living room and dining room, I started in on the kitchen.  I took all of the pictures off of the fridge and made a collage for the hallway:


 


Then, I began cleaning ...



I rinse out the Febreze sprayers when they are empty, and fill them with 409 and Windex.  They work better and are more comfortable than the other spray bottles (at least I think so).

One thing that I have been really into lately is using canning jars inside of the fridge instead of Ziplocks.  I cannot believe how much longer the food stays fresh, plus the glass keeps the fridge colder.  I decided to keep clean jars on the windowsill to make things more efficient. 



Produce literally keeps for weeks using the canning jars.  I will never go back to the old way.  Plus, doing it this way prompts you to prep ahead of time so things will fit, and it is so much faster to cook when the prep is all done.


I have been sewing and crafting, will be showing you pictures of that stuff soon.  We are going to Eugene for Thanksgiving, so I think that I will be cooking our small turkey today.  

I hope that you guys are all doing well, and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday!

Hugs,

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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Monday, November 3, 2014

Rest in Peace, Ken Richter and Ken's Obituary:




Oh boy. 

Our little part of the world has been hit with super sad news.

In the early morning on Thursday, Ken passed away.  My sister Julie, his brother John, and the boys' mom, Nia were by his side and helped him through the end of his journey with cancer.  It was seven months from discovery to the end, and we all thought that he would be here for several more months.  His death was a surprise in coming so soon.

Ken's going is a great loss for so many people ... he specialized in touching lives and loving others. I choose to not look at it as cancer winning ... Ken won, as he really lived his life and used his talents and his heart to make a huge difference in his world. I am so sad for my sister, who has lost her true love, and for his boys, Boon and Kaz, and his mom and the rest of his family and many friends. 

A bright light in our world is gone, physically, but I know that Ken will live on in our hearts and memories and that he will be watching and encouraging forever after.  RIP, Ken.  It has been an honor knowing you.

Thank you to so many of you guys, my blog friends, who have followed Ken's journey and have prayed for him and his.

Hugs,

Kathy M.
 _______________________________________

Julie posted Ken's obituary yesterday on Facebook, and I am going to put it on here for those who might be searching for info about Ken in the future.  Our hearts are so sad; it has been a week now.  Thank you to everybody who has been so supportive.


"Yesterday, I submitted Ken's Obituary to six different newspapers - a testament to the many communities he's been a part of over the last 48 years. I want to post it here, too, because his social media community was a huge and important part of his life over the past three years. I hope to see, and meet, many of you at his memorial on November 16th in Brownsville. We are working on setting up a Livestream event for those who want to see it online. Thanks for all your love and support." ~ Julie Anderson


 
  
“Be yourself, know your beauty, own your mood, 
stand in your power.” ~ Ken Richter

Kenneth Wayne Richter of Brownsville, Oregon died on October 29th, 2014 after a short but fierce battle with Esophageal Cancer. Ken was born on September 13, 1966 in Burns, OR to Kenneth M. Richter of Union, and Susan Hammer Owens, of Harrisburg, Oregon. He spent his early childhood in The Dalles, OR, and his junior high and high school years in Bonanza, OR. He also lived in Corvallis, OR for many years before moving to Brownsville.
Ken is survived by his sons Boon and Kazner Richter, his step-daughter Julie Logan, and his life partner, Julie Anderson. Ken was also a step-dad “in spirit” to Julie’s kids, Kaili, Liza and Zane Anderson of Eugene, and a co-parent and friend with his boys’ mother, Nia DeShon of Brownsville.

Ken is greatly missed by all his family and friends, including his parents, his step dad Steve Owens, his sisters, Missy O’Gorman, Heather Richter Thorp and Leslie Owens; his brother John Owens; nieces Sarah O’Gorman, nephews Josh O’Gorman, Kaden Thorp and Porter Owens. He was a treasured friend to his co-workers at Rosen Aviation in Eugene, Oregon, and the thousands of people around the world who have met him through his online social media communities, where he was known as @kwrkey, and shared his music, his optimism, and his great sense of humor.

In Ken’s own words:

“I grew up in a town of 500 people in the middle of nowhere. I worked on farms and ranches in evenings and early mornings and on weekends. I played high school sports, performed with the jazz band, and was even playing country music in bars with a local country band at the tender age of 16. I grew up and moved on to logging and commercial fishing to earn money for college. I finally completed my college degree after 7 years of stopping and starting as money would allow, while captaining a 3-time champion rugby team.


After college, I spent time running my own pumpkin patches and Christmas tree lots in LA, starting up a tent rental business and then eventually ended up as a tech writer at Hewlett Packard, when my kids were young. All these experiences have knit together to give me a unique view of the world. I have a good sense of what is important and what shapes my perspective of being a good man. I used to think it was being tough, working hard and never backing down from life’s challenges… it still is, kind of, but those things don’t make you a good man. Being a good man requires kindness and compassion. It requires owning your mistakes and being yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and standing in your power.

The things I value most in life are being a dependable father and a positive community role model. I am proud of my choices. Proud to be the dad who cooks for stray kids who ‘happen by’ at dinner time, the dad who sits down at the kitchen table and helps with homework, the dad who pitches the ball for all the kids in the cul-de-sac until everyone gets a chance at bat, the dad who leads by example in making hard life choices, the dad who’s known for showing compassion and kindness even when it’s hard, and the dad who expects good manners and a hug goodnight.”

I want my boys to be free thinkers. I want them to be brave, kind, ethical and honorable. I know they will learn these things by watching me. I take parenting seriously, and I know that I’m not only influencing my kids, but their friends and our community members.

Aside from parenting, I love creating music. I use music to connect with people. Professionally, I am the Director of Resources at Rosen Aviation, a company that makes flat screen monitors for private jets. A bird’s eye view of my personal and professional journey through life would look a lot like a winding river.
 

Sometimes I wonder how a small town boy like me ended up as a corporate man doing business management for a company that makes luxury products for million dollar jets. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”

Rest in peace, Ken Richter. You were a bright light in a weary world, and the universe will treasure your spirit forever.

A celebration of life memorial will be held for Ken at the Brownsville Rec Center: 234 Park St, Brownsville, OR 97355 on November 16th, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

For those who would like to contribute to college trust fun for Boon and Kazner Richter, an account has been set up at KeyBank, 2829 W. 11th Eugene OR. 97402. The title of the account is Ken Richter Memorial Fund.


 Adious, Ken.  Our hats are off to you!



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, October 28, 2014

Such is Life: The Good, The Bad and The Sad

Well, there is a lot going on around here, so this is long.  There is some good, bad, and sad stuff happening in and around Mayberry. 

This next story is just bad and good, but mostly good.

On the Sunday before last, one week after Mom turned 77, she and my nephew E. and his son A. were minding their own business, driving along as they ran some errands.  A group of three teens didn't even slow down as they ran a red light and smashed into Mom's side of the car.  Nobody was seriously injured, but both cars were totaled.  Good and bad.

The girl driver was cussing and screaming about how E. had run the red light and ruined her car, and of course that made him pretty mad, since she was totally on offense when she should have been on defense and apologetic.  There is some speculation as to whether or not she was texting, but nobody will ever know unless she had Flo's camera in her car, and then they sure wouldn't let that info loose.  F-bombs were flying around pretty heavily during the heat of the moment, and Mom said that it was just a mess all the way around.  Bad.

So, my Mom has been without a car now for nine days.  Even with whiplash, she has been walking to were she needs to go for the most part.  (We thought that they had borrowed a car from Ethan's friend all week long.)  She is a "Hedrick Trooper", and always looks at the glass as half-full, and says that the walking has made her body feel better.  Well, that's good.
 
Mom has another car that my bro and sister helped her buy a couple of years ago.  It turned out to be a car with a mystery illness (it overheats and then stops) so they haven't been able to use it.  My Uncle and Aunt have stepped in to help her fix it, and my Uncle is taking it to his mechanic this morning.  That is a good thing.

Cary has been throwing fits about my Mom walking around with whiplash, getting groceries and walking to physical therapy, and rightfully so. He had his eye on one of our employees cars, which was coming up for sale.  And though her other car is getting fixed, he decided to just go ahead and buy her a second car, one known to be super reliable.  Right now, he and our friend Dave are delivering it to Mom, two hours away.  That is another really good thing!  My husband is a generous and very kind man, and now my Mom has gone from no cars to two cars!  Yay!







This next story is super sad.  I haven't even wanted to put it on here, after my victory post in August.  My brother-in-law, Ken, has been in the hospital for the past month or so.  After many procedures, they have determined that his cancer has returned with full force, and has spread to other parts of his body.  Ken is super, super sick now, and returned home just the other day.  He is now on hospice.  There are some options to buy him more time, and he is weighing them out.  

The good part of this story is all of the loving people who are and have been helping and supporting Ken and Julie ever since they discovered Ken's esophageal cancer back in April.  We continue to pray for a miracle (and there is an experimental clinical trial option that just may do the trick), as we hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

These two people are true love.  They have it for each other, and spread it to others like frosting on a cake.  




Here is a beautiful song that Ken wrote for Julie, "The Day Together".  (He has lots of cool stuff on his You Tube channel, if you want to take a look.  If you do, you will see why we all love him so much.)
 



Then, there is my Chicago friend, Melissa.  Melissa has a different sort of cancer than Ken, and I feel in my heart that she is going to be just fine after all is said and done.  So, that is good.  Here is a shout out to Melissa about what she is up to now:


 


My friend Melissa Bradley (from over at Melissa's Imaginarium) is making and selling these beautiful bracelets just in time for Christmas.  Melissa is fighting Stage III cancer, and has recently lost her job.  She is working hard on trying to keep the bills paid, and this is one way that we can help support her.  The bracelets come in different designs and stones, and cost $10 to $15 each.

Another way that you can help is to go to Melissa Bradley's Go Fund Me Page, and make a donation. If  you would like to order a bracelet, you can leave a comment on her blog so that she can give you contact information.

Thank you so much for your prayers, purchases, and help in advance!  I ordered a bracelet from Melissa made out of jade.  I can't wait until it gets here.  Here is a sample of her work:




And here is a sample of my work.  I have been crafty lately, and would have gotten much more done if my sewing machine didn't break on me.  I kinda thought that was bad, but in the scheme of things I can drive into Bend and get it fixed.

Here is some more good stuff.  I have been knitting scarves . . . :




. . . and making pillows and bean bags:







. . . and experimenting with creating things for ECE classrooms:





Here is a short tutorial on how I made a matching and sorting game.  First, I Googled "free dinosaur clipart" and found some cute ones.  Then, I printed off two copies.




I cut them out, and glued them onto white index cards, just because I had a lot of them sitting in front of me.






When that part was done, I laminated as many as I could before I ran out of laminating packets.  (It was a start and stop sort of a week on my crafting.)  You don't need a laminator to do this though, you can use clear packaging tape instead.






Then, I cut them apart . . .



and gave them to our niece for her pre-school class (the kids thought that was good):



I am sure that there is more, but I am getting tired, and you probably are too.  Thanks for stopping by and reading about our lives.  We appreciate your prayers for our family and friends.

Hugs,

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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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hello from Blue River, Oregon:



Last month on a drizzly day when we were on our travels up the McKenzie River, we drove to the little town of Blue River.  They have a store, a park, a library, a garage and a few other places there. They have schools there too, but they are way on the other end of the town loop, and we didn't drive that far. 

Some of these pictures are from the park.  The rest were taken when I walked onto the bridge crossing the river.
 













Here is a shout-out to my patient driver and BFH, Cary.  He makes it a lot easier for me to hop out and take my photos.
 




Now, what in the heck is this business below?  It mars the beauty of the fall foliage, if you ask me...
 




Remember, folks ...


I know, I know, I am preaching to the choir!

Sorry that I have been behind on my return visits.  I will be by to see you guys soon.

Hugs,

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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