Tag Archives: Ashland OR

Day 212: Friends of the Ashland Library

4 Nov

Last evening we had dinner with our neighbors Deb and Armo and I was reminded that tomorrow (Saturday, November 5) the Friends of the Ashland Library will be hosting one of their biggest fundraising events – the Annual Book Sale and Silent Auction. The hours for this event are from 12:00 to 4:00 PM on Saturday (with a members only presale from 10AM til noon – and yes, memberships are available at the door!) and from 12:00 to 3:00PM on Sunday.

This is a wonderful chance for you to purchase gifts for the holidays and feel good about the money that you are spending because it will benefit our beautiful library. There will be hundreds of books available for purchase in new or nearly new condition. In addition, many local businesses have donated goods or services to the auction and the volunteers have put these items together in a number of themed gift baskets for you to bid on.

Since I knew that the volunteers would be working long hours today finalizing preparations for this big sale, I sent a Bacon and Cheddar Quiche to the library so that they might have something to sustain them. This afternoon I received a text from Deb with these words: “If it hadn’t been for your quiche, we’d’ve not had the engergy to still be working… we are so lucky.” Actually, we the people of Ashland, are the lucky ones to have such dedicated volunteers working to keep our library as wonderful as it is.

Day 203: Happy Birthday Anny!

26 Oct

Anny lived in the house next door when we moved back to Ashland in 1995.  She has always been a quiet person and it took a long time for me to get to know her.  What I did learn early on is that Anny has an artistic side and she sees the humor in situations .  And I know for a fact that she is a most beloved daughter.

When she was a youngster, Anny spent time baking with her ouma (grandma) and there is some speculation that that is what sparked her love of baking.  Her great-grandmother was also a marvelous baker.  And, there is a rumor that her neighbor is a pretty good baker as well.  Maybe it’s because of all of those elements that Anny decided to enroll in the  baking program at Seattle Culinary.

Before attending this school, Anny worked at a place called “Nana’s Soup House” where she baked breads and made soups early in the morning.  She really liked, as I do, the quiet of the kitchen in the morning when there wasn’t anyone else around.  It’s a lovely feeling to be on your own, in charge of the kitchen, and creating lovely food.

Since I mentioned that Anny likes humor, I thought I should include a clip of one of her favorite comedians, Brian Reagan.  He is a pretty funny guy – and Anny and both of my kids can recite his routine (almost) verbatim.

I’d be a lot better off if I was to study more growing up. But you know where it all went wrong is the day that they started the spelling bee. Cause up until that day I was an idiot, but nobody else knew, y’know. And the spelling bee day popped up: “OK kids, up against the wall! It’s time for public humiliation.” Spell a word wrong, sit down in front of your friends. Y’know, that’s great for little egos: “Hey, look at me! I’m a moron. I wasn’t even close. I was using numbers and stuff.” That’s where I admired that kid who spelt it wrong on purpose, so he could sit down. He knew he wasn’t going to win so why stand there for three hours. First round: “Cat. K.A.T, I’m out-ta here…” Then as he passed you… “I know there’s two T’s.” I remember my teacher ask me: “Brian, what’s the I before E rule?” Ummm… I before E… Always. “What are you an idiot Brian?” Apparently! So she explains it: “No Brian it’s I before E except after C, and that sounded like A in a neighbouring way and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May and you’ll always be wrong no matter what you say!” That’s a hard rule!

A little birdie told me that tonight for dinner, Anny had a triple decker meat/mashed potato loaf with roasted garlic mashers on the first layer and cheesy mashers between the next two – and that it was the best ‘birthday cake’ ever!  After which she and her family will taste the gluten free Apple Blueberry Cobbler that I made for her.

And at this moment, east coast time, Anny was born 29 years ago today!  Anny, Happy, Happy Birthday – and please keep on baking up a storm and creating wonderful breads, fabulous cookies, and perfect pastries for the world and for you.  I look forward to seeing and tasting the products of your education (and talent) for many years to come.

Day 116: Skip the Mailman

31 Jul

When we first moved to Ashland in 1986, Skip was our mailman. We lived in a house on the corner of Laurel and Van Ness and felt lucky to be there. Compared to some of the apartments we’d seen around town, this one was perfect for us – mostly because it had a great big kitchen with lots of counters and lots of natural light.

We liked our new apartment and soon thereafter got to know Skip. He introduced himself to us and we both liked that he was so friendly. When Christmas came, I wanted to give something to Skip but we were both students and money was tight, and so I made him a santa ornament that I’d fashioned (and painted) out of salt dough (much like this one).

Fast forward 7 years and we have moved away from Ashland and just returned. We bought a house in “Quiet Village” and who should our mailman be but Skip! I liked that even though much had changed with us (we’d had 2 children since we’d last seen him) – Skip was still the same.

Skip continued to deliver our mail to us until he retired about 4 years ago. He invited us to his retirement party and on one table he had displayed a bunch of gifts that he’d been given over the years. Right smack in the middle of those gifts was my Santa ornament! I was touched that he’d kept it with his “treasures” from work.

Today I made a Strawberry Rhubarb pie for Skip. When I called to see if he was home, he told me that he was away for the day. I told him about my pie project and immediately he said, “you don’t know how perfect this is.” When I asked him to tell me why today was perfect he told me, “Today is my son’s 35th birthday. And it is also the 3 year anniversary of the accident.” Three years ago today Skip was riding a motorcycle, with his wife as a passenger, when he was cut off by a man who ran a red light. Skip was seriously injured in that accident, his wife was injured as well, but fortunately, they both survived and recovered.

I am so glad that I was moved to give Skip (and Janice) a pie today. I am very grateful for the friendship that he has shown to us over the years and wish them both the very best.