The Bridges Of Linn County - Living The Dream (well, I'm trying...) Blog at - 255552

Living The Dream (well, I'm trying...)

The Bridges Of Linn County 
Nov. 2, 2011 2:19 am 
Updated: Nov. 8, 2011 7:37 am
Since becoming a member of the AR Community, I’ve done things I never thought I would do! I’ve learned to cook better; I’m learning to navigate my way around a computer better (which includes blogging), I’m discovering my creative spirit again and I’ve met some of the greatest people in the world in very unconventional ways. I'd love to share how each person I’ve met has influenced me or had an impact on my life, but THAT is another blog. For now, I’ll share about the time we had when Marianne came to Oregon on vacation and was kind enough to add us to her itinerary.
Unfortunately, Avon, Pattycakes’ Evil Twin (I finally heard that story over dinner) couldn’t get time off work to join us for our daytime romp. So Christine NICU RN and I decided we would show Marianne how very beautiful Oregon can be in the Fall via an afternoon road trip. Oregon is really very pretty all year long, but is especially breathtaking in Autumn. Marianne was to arrive at my humble home in our small-ish town midday. I was most excited and the weather was nice. That’s Oregon speak for not raining….. (I’d had a long talk with the weather gods before Marianne arrived asking for just ONE more day without rain to show her around…and they obliged.)

After “phone navigating” her to my house, we greeted each other with hugs as good friends do. I took Marianne into the house and introduced her to my best half, Orangezest who was most pleased to meet her. Christine NICU RN had just arrived with this gorgeous floral centerpiece for my dining room table.
I still have the centerpiece on the table and it’s still beautiful. Thank you Christine!

Marianne, being the gracious guest, presented me with 6 large, beautiful Avocados. I quickly hid them away to eat later. She also brought a box containing Drommer Cookies and Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Biscotti. (see Avon’s blog for the recipes. Blog link below) More on those delicious goodies later.

Then, the three of us hopped in my little car to begin our sightseeing adventure. At Christine’s suggestion we stopped to pick up sammiches from “Side Kicks,” a quaint little coffee/sandwich shop in the old part of my town near the historic homes district. Once back into my little car, we headed out for our countryside tour to see 3 out of the 9 covered bridges in Linn County. I was hoping Marianne would enjoy our afternoon road trip through, what I think is God’s Country. We ate our picnic lunch off the back of the car, oohed & aahed at the almost fluorescent green fields, took pictures, read country road signs, chatted and continued on our way through the winding and gently sloping landscape we call home to see the selected Covered Bridges on the tour. The plan was to end up at the now world famous Willamette Valley Vineyards to do some wine tasting.
Our lunch spread out on the back on my car.
Notice my fancy table clothe…A giant Costco grocery bag.

Eating Chicken Salad Sammiches at Covered Bridge #1

A single lane road through the bridge. One vehicle at a time please.

Me taking a picture of you taking a picture of me…

Along the way, we met some new friends too. A couple of nice young teen boys stopped at bridge #2 and asked me to take a picture of himself, his friend and his truck. A completed project of he and his father’s, you could see just how very proud he was. I will not soon forget Tyler and his buddy Max, and that bright orange truck he lowered and raised hydraulically before our eyes.
We all giggled as we drove away continuing our trek.
Tyler with his friend Max
Standing proudly alongside his very truck
Lowered to the ground. Is that not cool.

Suicide Doors Too! Very Cool.

2nd Covered Bridge where we met Tyler and Max
Hillside View

Our new “friends” took our picture too.

Covered Bridge #3 still has a wooden floor for the road. Very interesting.
Marianne, the tourist.

At the Vineyard, we enjoyed sipping on 5 different wines courtesy of Marianne. Purchases were made and soon we headed back to my house for our Dinner Party. Avon and Ivon would be there soon.
Willamette Valley Vineyards

Now, I know Avon posted a blog about the EVENING’S festivities, but I must add my two cents dontchaknow…

The first thing I’d like to add is that Ms. Avon is a pretty amazing gal. She works full time, is a very devoted, present parent to 4 kids, one of which is the smart and witty Ivon; she's a fantastic cook and a great friend! I prepared the main dish (a special request made by my daughter, Christine NICU RN, who btw is one of MY best creations) and the desserts.
Beef Bourginon

Avon with her very busy schedule made the delicious sides. (All the recipes are listed in her blog. The blog link is located below.) And, those eyes of Avon's! Big, brown and beautiful!
The beautiful, funny and gifted, Avon

Look at those lovely ladies with their beautiful smiles.
From left to right: Marianne, Ivon and Avon 

Ivon is Avon’s youngest daughter and as smart as they come. Beautiful, quick witted and funny like her Mama, she fits in easily with us older folks. I just love to talk with her. And, because I dig that kid so much, at her request I made her some of my “No Ice Cream, Ice Cream” (recipe link below) that she loves so much to go along with our other desserts. Marianne brought Drommer Cookies because Ivon is especially interested these days in Swedish cuisine. She also made the Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Biscottis that are so good dipped in coffee.
Marianne's Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Biscotti

And, what Avon didn’t mention is that Marianne’s Sweet Vanilla Cupcakes were made with Avon's homemade vanilla. That stuff rocks!!! At the end of the evening there were enough Drommer Cookies, Biscotti and SV Cupcakes left for me to package up to take to Portland Sunday where we would spend the day with Magnolia Blossom…. Another blog to come on our time with Lora.

Meahwhile, back at the house….. Glasses of wine were poured, the food was served and well, the rest, as they say, is history. Our time together that day and evening will be cherished for a long time to come.  Thank you Avon, Ivon, Christine NICU RN and Orangezest for your part in the memories we made. And, thank you Marianne for the time you spent with us and the gifts you brought.

Next time, please bring Russ and plan to stay for a few days. We’ll drink some good wine, eat some good food (I’m sure “my girls” will lay lots of eggs for you. And, I kinda feel I owe Russ a good meal) AND we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh.

Avon’s Blog

No Ice Cream, Ice Cream recipe

Nov. 2, 2011 5:09 am
I so enjoyed reading about your day and the pictures made me miss Oregon...I lived in Hermiston for several years.
Nov. 2, 2011 5:25 am
grrrr..... I am soooo jealous!! What a FABULOUS day you guys had!!! and I really am going to make that biscotti recipe you shared, I am the lover of all things Biscotti! :) What a beautiful way to spend the day sightseeing the gorgeous Oregon countryside complete with covered bridges! Glad you all had a great time! (but I am STILL jealous!!!) LOL!
Nov. 2, 2011 7:06 am
I love your blog. Thanks for sharing. I think the photos add so much to your blog. Great photos. How did you get so many large photos on your site? The biscotti looks delicious.
Nov. 2, 2011 8:40 am
Deep sigh of envy gusting out here! What a beautiful day! Already read about the lovely evening that followed the lovely day. Can't wait to hear how Lora's visit was, I'm betting it was just as wonderful. Thanks for so descriptively sharing, I almost felt like I was there :)(:
Nov. 2, 2011 11:27 am
it truly is great meeting the folks in person and kinda " showing off" your town and area! great pictures and beautiful covered bridges!
Nov. 2, 2011 11:28 am
oops, good grief! that beef is wicked good looking!!
Nov. 2, 2011 11:39 am
Another great blog. Thank you for sharing your gathering with us.
Nov. 2, 2011 11:45 am
What a wonderful day you all had! Thanks for sharing!
Nov. 2, 2011 11:49 am
Thank you for sharing this with us. I LOVE the bridges! It is absolutely beautiful - God's Country, indeed. How lucky we all are to have found each other through AR. :)
Nov. 2, 2011 11:55 am
Sounds like an amazing day in one of my most favorite states. And good food to end the day! What could be finer??
Nov. 2, 2011 12:17 pm
Looks like everyone had a great time!
Nov. 2, 2011 12:19 pm
Good food & great fellowship! Made me think of Bridges of Madison County LOL! Ladies, thanks for sharing your blessings! Shea
Nov. 2, 2011 1:08 pm
Have had three vacations in Oregon, the most recently in late May of this year, and you really do live in a fantastic state! Looks like you all had a wonderful time. It's getting near dinner time here, and that beef bourginon is making my mouth water.
Nov. 2, 2011 1:40 pm
Wow, I would love to visit Oregon and see all that beautiful countryside and those covered bridges. Sounds like you girls had an awesome time and some awesome food.
Nov. 2, 2011 2:38 pm
Orangezest certainly had four charming dinner partners to enjoy along with that lovely meal. Thanks for sharing!
Nov. 2, 2011 3:21 pm
I sure do miss you 3~~~I can't wait to see you all ;-) Great blog. And I'm totally there with the beautiful country side of Oregon. I love my place being up here in the mountains and it's amazing view. I can say I'm glad the Gods didn't let it rain on y'alls parade. And your meal looks great!
Nov. 2, 2011 5:32 pm
Candice, what a nice blog you wrote! I only wished I could have been part of the daytime fun. Next time for sure! Thanks again for inviting us to be part of the evening fun. And BSM, slight correction....there were 14 females around him. Of course 9 of them were chickens, but the other 5 were living breathing women/and a girl!
Nov. 2, 2011 5:56 pm
GAHSMOMX3, Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed the blog. I really like Hermiston. It's dry there. And, the Watermellons!!! Oh yeah!!! There great! Thanks for posting a comment.
Nov. 2, 2011 6:01 pm
Hiya "G," Yes we had a wonderful time with our sweet Marianne. And, I really wish you coulda had some of that Biscotti. The picture of the Biscotti dipping into the AR Mug was actually taken one day last week. It was raining, I was on the couch with my blanky and a good book sipping coffee and eating the last piece of biscotti.
Nov. 2, 2011 6:06 pm
Lela, why thank you! The scenery was magnificent. I agree. Pictures make blogs so much better. I used e-blogger and there's a picture sizer to make the photos larger. It was fun to put together. I'm so glad you dropped in.
Nov. 2, 2011 6:11 pm
Good Evening Cat, Yes.... kinda like I felt when you had the MidWest Gathering. I just wanted to be there so dang bad! I was GREEN with envy too. I can't wait to tell about our time with Magnolia Blossom. It was wonderful as well. We laughed until she popped a blood vessel in her eyeball. Seriously! She did! But, you'll have to wait a few more days to read about that adventure.
Nov. 2, 2011 6:24 pm
How freaky was that? I don't even know when it actually happened, but that's the only reason I can think of. DH thought I got smacked in the eye. Patting myself on the back... I saw these pictures at our Portland get-together.
Nov. 2, 2011 7:00 pm
You gals are just mahvelous darling! Love the bridges. Happiness just radiates off you all.
Nov. 2, 2011 7:21 pm
Nice blog, Candice! I laughed a little bit at "Marianne brought Drommer Cookies because Ivon is especially interested these days in Swedish cuisine". Good food and good times, can't wait to do it again :)
Nov. 2, 2011 8:38 pm
I can't wait till I get to see you again! Thank you so much for sharing!
Nov. 2, 2011 8:43 pm
Btw, the pics are GORgeous!!!!! And I, too, am ever so jealous! [note to self: BUY LOTTERY TICKETS =D]
Nov. 2, 2011 8:45 pm
You know Gary, it is great! Why don't you get your sweet Claire and come out West. We'd love to show you the sites too!
Nov. 2, 2011 8:46 pm
Oh, HECK YEAH.... that beef was good Gary.
Nov. 2, 2011 8:47 pm
Marie C, I'm so glad you stopped by. And, thank you. It was a wonderful gathering.
Nov. 2, 2011 8:50 pm
Hi Shorecook! So glad you read my blog. It was a wonderful day and a fabulicious evening. (FABULICIOUS... that's my new word this week.)
Nov. 2, 2011 8:54 pm
Baking Nana, thank you. I feel completely blessed for having met you and the others from this site. A truly amazing experience.
Nov. 3, 2011 6:24 am
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful day and evening with us so beautifully. I feel like I (almost) was there in beautiful Oregon with you, vicariously enjoying all the fun! Yes, you have met some wonderful ladies. I hope to have the same delightful experience someday. You are the "hostess with the mostest" for the day!
Nov. 3, 2011 7:44 am
chris k, What a coincidence... Oregon is my favorite state too! LOL!!! I'm so happy you came by and left a comment. Thank you!
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 am
OH! sueb, we DID have a good time! Marianne is the loveliest of women and so easy to be with. We ALL enjoyed our time with her so very much.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:47 am
Good Morning Shea.... Yes the fellowship was awesome! I could've sat around that table all night long chatting with these wonderful gals.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:49 am
Shea, BTW.... I was thinking about The Bridges Of Madison County too, the entire time we were touring The Bridges Of Linn County. LOL!!!
Nov. 3, 2011 7:54 am
lutzflcat, YOU WERE??? Why didn't you let me or Avon know. We would've loved to have "hooked" up with you. Next time, you better let us know! (shaking finger in your direction)But, seriously, what areas did you go to?
Nov. 3, 2011 7:56 am
char, I don't know where you live, but Oregon is just so beautiful. Come on up, we'll show you a good time! And, thank you for stopping by to read my blog.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:58 am
Hi BigShotsMom, I'm so glad you come by and left a comment. Orangezest loved every minute of the time he got to spend with all of ladies! LOL
Nov. 3, 2011 7:59 am
Oh, And, he said as soon as he gets the rest of those tomatoes put up he's going to leave a post about the evening..... OK, now I'm sceeeerrrrd!
Nov. 3, 2011 9:06 am
oooh!!! lovely!! :D looks like u had so much fun!! & that beef bourginon looks amazing... now I'm so jealous and just a tiny bit whiny.. will no one ever want to cross the atlantic? London is a beautiful city u know.. hehehe.. But seriously, if any of u decideds to show up do let me know.. would love to meet u..
Nov. 3, 2011 9:07 am
& really looking forward to orangezest's post.. :D to finally have a guy's take on it..
Nov. 3, 2011 1:35 pm
Candice, I was going through yesterday's posts and saw yours that led to THIS! Oh, my goodness! You are amazing! (And maybe somewhat of an exaggerator!) Russ will never live down that dinner he missed. I'm ready to turn around and get back up there! BTW, our friend at the rest home called us last night and asked when we were going to come up---he said they have a wonderful room we could stay in! (He has Alzheimer's.)
Nov. 3, 2011 2:21 pm
mis7up, hey girl... thank you for dropping by my blog. We miss your "bubbly" self too! Wasn't LV a hoot? Now, that was good times thanks to our own Mauigirl! Can't wait to see everyone again too! Take care.... Oregon Girl!
Nov. 3, 2011 2:25 pm
Avon, thank you sweetie for your nice comment! We were dissappointed that you couldn't be there with us too. But, we made up for it at dinner! Thank you again for the delicious side dishes you prepared. It would not have been the same without you and Ivon. xoxoxoxo
Nov. 3, 2011 2:29 pm
Hi Magnolia Blossom! So great that you stopped by. We had so much fun with Marianne. Just really wished it would've worked out for all of us to have gotten together. Oh well.... next time.
Nov. 3, 2011 2:36 pm
Hey Sass, thanks so much for coming in to read my blog. You know, these gals... all of them, are truly MAHVELOUS! I so wish you could've been there.
Nov. 3, 2011 2:41 pm
Barb, note to you.... WE MISSED YOU!!! LOL!!! Thank you for dropping in. And, I'm going to be just as jealous when you all get together on the 12th. But, I know you'll have just as good a time. Hugs to you.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:24 pm
Thanks Ivon for coming with your Mama and thank you for commenting. I'm not telling anybody WHY you're so interested in Swedish food. My lips are sealed.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:26 pm
Mamaw, thank you for your kind comments. It was a beautiful day and evening. I hope you will have the opportunity to meet some AR folks too. It's so much fun! I'm glad you stopped in to read my blog!
Nov. 3, 2011 7:31 pm
Cuppycake, A good whine now and then is totally acceptable. And, ah-hmmm, where exactly do you live? It would be fun to meet some AR peeps who live outside the US. Maybe you could put together an International Round-Up.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:37 pm
LOL! Marianne, nope, no exaggerating what-so-ever. We all feel that way about you. You're a sweet, kind, gracious and lovely soul who is also a really good cook. And well, now I'm adding humble. A good time was had by us all.
Nov. 3, 2011 7:40 pm
So, Marianne... just TURN around and get back up here. My house quests left. The guest bedroom's empty.
Nov. 3, 2011 9:21 pm
Hugs back!!! And, Ivon, even though Candice did not say a word, I just hope he is worthy of you!!!!! (hehehe) (am I close?)
Nov. 4, 2011 5:38 am
How blessed you are to live in such gorgeous land! I have a dream of visiting the great Northwest one day. Your gathering made me envious too! Glad you all had so much fun. At least some of us are looking forward to a gathering in Brighton MI on Saturday -
Nov. 4, 2011 9:09 am
LOL Barb!!!! Ivon... I'll never tell, promise!
Nov. 4, 2011 9:12 am
Maggi, I do feel very blessed. And, I very much HOPE you are able to come to Oregon some day. Our home is open for you if you do! I just wish I were able to come tomorrow for the Michigan Gathering. What fun you all will have! Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a nice comment.
Nov. 4, 2011 10:14 am
Yeah Candice, I wish!! I live in London, England.. But I really dont think there are any peep here... Except ofcourse if Don decides to visit his birth country perhaps? hehehe.. I dont know of anyone else.. :)
Nov. 4, 2011 10:15 am
& did I mention.. I love that las pic of urs.. u look so cute :D
Nov. 4, 2011 11:04 am
I love your dishes!!! ( I have the same set=))
Nov. 4, 2011 2:51 pm
Great food good times. Butt what? Neither one of you talked about the garbage despoal. Ivon came up with the all recipes eqivelant for 'the wood pile.' Give that girl some credit.
Nov. 4, 2011 10:29 pm
orangezest is a real person! I mean, I know he's real - or else Candice has a VERY vivid imagination (= [more "hehehe!!!"] - but I thought he was "orangezest" like my Cady is "babyxray" - what her AR name would be if she had an AR name (= . . . Yoiks! Am I making any sense?
Nov. 4, 2011 10:30 pm
And, in regards to Ivon - I stand by my words!
Nov. 4, 2011 11:30 pm
xraybarb, he is very worthy ;) I'll have my mom fill you in on that one.
Nov. 5, 2011 7:56 am
Maggi, It would be so great if you could come to Oregon. Avon & I have talked about a PNW Round-Up on more than one occasion. Wouldn't that be fun?
Nov. 5, 2011 7:57 am
Oh, And, I just know you all will have a wonderful time today at the Michigan Gathering!
Nov. 5, 2011 7:58 am
Yep, Barb.... Orangezest is my sweetie. 30 years of sweet-ness!
Nov. 5, 2011 7:59 am
Ivon, I didn't say a word....
Nov. 5, 2011 8:01 am
Cuppycake, you never know! An AR Round-Up in England. That's something I would save for. And, thank you. Avon took that picture. I was pooped and was sorta laying on the table just before everyone left that evening. We had had a very big day!
Nov. 5, 2011 8:06 am
COOKINWIFEANDMOM, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. Don't you just love those dishes? It's taken me years to collect them. (for those of you wondering, they're Johnson Brothers Friendly Village China)I'm always on the look out for sales to add to my set.
Nov. 5, 2011 8:36 am
My apologies Orangezest! I guess I should 'splain what DH is referring to. HE’s a member of a web-community called ”The BBQ Brethren.” When a member gets ugly, feels the need to curse or bash another member, they can get sent to “the wood pile” by any other member for a “time-out.” We thought it would be cool to have an AR wood pile for snarky-ness! After throwing around several cooking term equivalencies; like the compost heap and the trash can, Ivon came up with the “garbage disposal.” We all liked it. So glad Avon & I didn’t get sent to there! LOL!
Nov. 5, 2011 7:42 pm
Another fabulous blog, Mom. That was a really great day. I so enjoy Avon & Ivon. But, getting to spend the day with you and Marianne driving around our georgeous Oregon, that was fabulous! I guess I should mention the meal...OMG! Thanks for taking my request, it turned out so good. Another day with good food and good friends.
Nov. 5, 2011 7:43 pm
PS-No one got sent to the garbage disposal!
Nov. 6, 2011 8:30 am
LOL! Thankfully, no one did. Thank you so much for the part you played (and providing the lovely Centerpiece) in helping me to make Marianne feel welcome. And, thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Hugs!
Nov. 6, 2011 9:48 am
Hi honey. You have been the hostess with the mostess lately:) Loved the pix and so enjoyed seeing Avon . She is a beauty alright:)
Nov. 7, 2011 2:59 pm
And, now I'm one pooped AR'er! It's off now to get some November Campbell soup activities done. We ARE "living the good life" aren't we? Thanks Julie for stopping in to comment. Hugs to you.
Nov. 7, 2011 4:42 pm
Now, where was all this stuff (not to mention the really nice people) when I lived there? LOL!
Nov. 8, 2011 7:37 am
WileyP, we were all here. and, getting Portland weird has been a process. There was just no AR then so we could get to know each other. Thanks for stopping in. You made me smile!
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About Me
I am a wife and mother of 5 grown children. Being semi-retired has allowed me time to do things I've put off doing; like really learning to cook and bake. I also love to garden, read, scrapbook and just recently I've gotten into geneology. I am loving this phase of my life with my husband and family.
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Fresh garden vegetables and fruits. The anticipation of what my garden will produce is always a joy. I also love to bake. And, Mostly I love to bake cupcakes and sweet treats.
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