Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Great Waffletown USA Mural

My husband and I just returned from a vacation trip to Norfolk, Virginia to visit our Army daughter.   Getting to the Navy Lodge hotel where we were planning to stay was quite the adventure.  Hearing that we were going to Virginia Beach the car rental guy sent us off on a journey from one highway to another.  My husband, having made the reservation, at least had an idea where the Navy Lodge was -- at Little Creek Naval Station -- and where that was compared to Fort Story.  I on the other hand had no idea where it was and was the driver.  We could have paid to add a GPS, but that takes all the adventure out of learning a new place (and being cheap, well. . .)

After realizing we were not going to get where we wanted to go any time soon, my husband called the Lodge and they gave us directions on how to turn around and how to get to Little Creek.  It was a Wednesday evening rush hour so it was not much fun but we did arrive safe and sound.  Ironically, on our return from the Lodge to the airport four days later, we discovered that all it took was one right turn and three lefts to get to the airport.  We said goodbye to the Base at gate 3,  took a right.  Went north to the main gate, took a left.   Went to Azalea Garden drive, took a left.   Went to Norview, took a left and there we were.  It was SO QUICK I seriously thought we were at some small regional airport and not the International.  Basically our trip was driving around the airport to the other side and there is likely even a shorter route!
But as usual, I digress.  We met our daughter, spent some time, sent her off to finish her work week and went to bed and to sleep.  We slept a full twelve hours - ten to ten --  and then went looking for coffee and breakfast.  A few blocks and we came across Waffletown USA (not to be confused with Waffle House) and agreed that "this looks good."  The food was very good but an additional treat was a mural covering more than the width of the dining area.  This distant photo I took later, the morning that we left, so that I could add some perspective and not just all the detailed close-ups that I had taken before.  You can just see the mural covering the back wall -- and because they were moving the employees have conveniently taken care of disguising their of faces to avoid facial recognition! 

I also have the option to do videos with my camera.  I was going to say "ability" but that might give the wrong impression.  This was a trick I only learned after my niece Emma had played with my camera while we were traveling in the car.  After I returned home, I saw a really odd looking photo and discovered she had videotaped knees, arms and backs of car seats.  What a surprise!  The last time I used it was a year ago at the boot camp graduation of the same daughter. I decided to try it here again to give perspective.  I think I did a great job on the video "overview" of the mural, but couldn't remember  at the end how to turn the video off.  Finally I just turned off the camera!  At this point in this narrative I know that both of my daughters are rolling their eyes -- and their friends too if they ever come upon this missive!  The friends at least won't roll their eyes in my presence.  Look at that -- my video works -- isn't technology wonderful?
Sorry about the motion-sickness there at the end!  The following are more close-ups of the entire mural (and they hold still).  It was painted by a man named James Johnson.  I haven't found out any more about him, but I love this mural and want to give him credit.
The very first thing that caught our eye as we were seated at this table in the corner was not only the mural in general, but specifically the wonderful Coast Guard Cutter Eagle catching the breezes as it flew across the bay. 
The mural continues beyond the door with the beach, the underwater bridge and some of the shoreline.  In the distance you can see the double lighthouses - the original Cape Henry lighthouse on the right and the New Cape Henry lighthouse on the left standing watch in the same area where the original Jamestown settlers first came ashore thanked God that they had survived. 
In the last two sections of the mural above there is the close up of the beach and the surrounding area.  And the small yellow sign right above that customer's head is "Waffletown USA" and so you can know exactly where you are!  It is quite clever and it was with this "map" that I began to orient myself and had a starting place to create the new "map in my head" that is my usual way of finding my way around.  Finding this wonderful little restaurant on our first morning in town was an auspicious beginning for our five days of fun and relaxation! 

Waffletown USA, you can find specific information about Waffletown USA at this link -- http://waffletownusa.com/

For a more detailed view of the mural, here you go!  The details are very fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Star, The Grout Doctor of Kirkland

Well, today I spent a minimal amount of money and ended up with what looks like a brand new bathtub and tiles.  I am a happy camper.  For those of you who say, well, you could have done that yourself for practically nothing, I say in return -- like that's ever going to happen.  The options were getting it done by someone who knew what they were doing, or letting it continue moldering on its own,.  Since you can't use the shower for 48 hours after the treatment is done, we opted to do the main bath first and will do our master bath after.  We are also considering (don't know the cost yet) of having the tub re-enameled.  We would do both steps at the same time of course.  That made it an easy choice to do the other bath first.

Here is the bathroom in it's original state.  It doesn't look nearly as bad in the photographs as it did in real life.  Maybe I need a higher resolution camera.  But you get the idea.  A bit yucky!

So Star, of The Grout Doctor, came by a couple of weeks ago and gave us a bid for each bathroom.  It didn't seem unreasonable to me so we determined to do it soon.  Fortunately for us, if not for them, Star's boss stopped by when we weren't home and left a card with a $20 coupon on it.  Gotta love those little quirks of life.  So we set up the date.  Star's plan (and it unfolded exactly as stated), was to grind out the layer of grout till all the grungy stuff was gone, scrape off all of the old grout and moldy caulking, give a quick acid bath to the whole thing to kill germs and make the old surface more amenable to the new grout, grout (wipe down), seal (wipe down) and lastly do the final caulking around where the tile and tub met, and around the soap dish.  The initial grinding off part provided a great deal of motivation for the dog to indulge in a competitive barking competition , so I dragged him downstairs to cut the decibels. 
Now for the drum roll . . . . ..  

I love it!  It has never looked this good since we moved here eleven years ago (11 years ago 3 days ago!)
Well, this is aggravating!  The "overall" photos when uploaded below looks uneven, but in real life it isn't like that.  I'm not sure why the photo is texturing.  Alas!  What you see in the photos above is right.  What you see below looks more like a coloring book maze than tile work, but that is an optical illusion! You can see the "texturing" in the light reflection along the bathtub too.   
So, in spite of the funny photo, I have nothing but good things to say about Star at Grout Doctor Kirkland.  The moment of truth will be when we turn the water back on it in two days, but as for the moment, it is gorgeous!  You can see a picture of Star and her Uncle on their website!  I like small family businesses that do quality work.  2nd tub will be done in a month or so once we determine that the re-glazing of the bathtub can be added in. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Happy Valley Beekeeper Sweet on His Honey

I know that there are many of our friends who regularly get pints or quarts of the wonderful and diverse varieties of honey described in this article below.  I came across this clipping about Dad and his hobby of Bee Keeping and thought our friends might like to read about the man who provided all this sweetness!  This was published in the Clackamas County REVIEW on January 16, 1992 and was written by JoAnn Henley. 
This is the total article, but it is cropped for easier reading following this section.
 In the photo below it is amazing how few trees were in the area even in 1992.  When they first moved there in 1972 there were almost NO trees as this has been a farm area.  From their house you could see the flag at the national cemetery at the top of the hill.  Now the giant fir trees look like they have been there forever, but it was really only 40 years.
This article was written in 1992 and we are still all enjoying the same honey.  We do not sell it of course, but we are happy to share with our friends.  
What to do if your honey has crystalized! 
First - DO NOT HEAT IT IN A PAN OF BOILING WATER.  This changes the flavor of the honey.
Crystalized honey is fine as it is if you want to eat it that way.  There is nothing wrong with it and it is easier to measure when using honey for cooking.
But if you want honey that looks just like new, heat your oven to 125 degrees.  Put jar of honey on a cookie sheet or in a cake pan. Leave the lid on but loosen it so it just sets on top of the jar because the honey will expand a little bit in the heat and you don't want the glass to break.  
Put honey in oven and let it sit there for about 8 hours.  My folks would do it overnight.  Turn off heat and let the jar go back to room temperature before moving it.  Sometimes you can use less time - you can just experiment.  The folks would do a whole case of jars (12 quarts) at a time and let it liquify overnight. 
JoAnn, if you come across this post -- thanks for the great story on Dad.  I looked for a link to the original, but couldn't find one.  I hoped you and the Clackamas Review wouldn't mind a second time around.  Blessings!!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Looking for Trustem Family Members from Norway that settled in Hanlontown, Iowa Area

Our Tangen family has a reunion every three years and it is always fun to attend.  Last time we got Tangen shirts and that was fun! 

Ole K Tangen married Ella Mae Nelsdotter Dokken in 1877.  And this good looking, intelligent and otherwise phenomenal family is the connection that all of us have.  Oline died at 10 years of age and  Nels -- on the far right -- also died young (20), but he made it into the family photograph.  Sadly they left no direct descendants to join us, but remain important members of the family.  My young grandfather is on the far left and all the other members of the family are identified at the bottom of the photo.
The parents of Ole K Tangen were, if my information is correct, Knutsen Olsen Tangen and Guri Johnsdtr Avestrud.  Beyond that I have no knowledge and hope to some day learn more about them. Ella Mae's parents were Nels Olson Dokken and Christina G (Gulesdtr?) Trustem. 
 Christina G Trustem Dokken
Nels Olson Dokken
In going through the family letters I came across a photocopied letter.  The original is likely in the possession of someone else in the family, but since I came across it today I thought that I would pass it on in hopes that if there is anyone who knows more about the Trustem family that they might come across this and add to our general knowledge.  This letter was written by the wife of Gule E Trustem.  Gule was the son of Erick Trustem who was a brother of our Christina Trustem Dokken, The motivation for the letter was an appeal by Thea Tangen Kaasa and Anna Tangen Allen, (our well-known family members and past participants and organizers of our reunions) for any information that Gule Trustem might have had about their shared ancestors.
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Hanlontown, IA
Sept. 24, 1971
Dear Anna,
            Thea Kaasa and her sister, Anna, were here one evening recently and she wanted me to write to you concerning your ancestors.  I really don’t know what to write about as Gule doesn’t know too much about them either, only what he can remember as a child of his father [Erick Trustem, Chrstina's brother] telling him.  I have had this information written some years ago and will give you this much.  Gule’s father was Erick Trustem and his father was also named Gule Trustem and his mother, Randy Trustem [These two would be Christina's parents as well].
Their children were: 
  1. Erick Trustem – born Aug 3, 1831 (in Hallingdal, Norway, maybe in Gore)
  2. Ole Trustem – Janesville, Wis
  3. Michael Trustem – Norway
  4. Corbeen Trustem – Norway
  5. Christian Trustem – Worth Co, Northwood. He has one son also named Gule still living in Northwood.
  6. Mrs. Erik Overstrude – Janesville, Wis.
  7. Mrs. Nels (Christie) Dokken – Worth Co,  Hanlontown [this is our family line]
I can tell you something about Gule’s father [Erick] but don’t have much about the others.  When in Norway he worked in the lumber mills to designate how many feet of lumber each log contained, which took a good head in math.  He was well educated in Norway for the time and if he was, I imagine all the children had a fairly good education as his parents were considered well to do in Norway, owning several farmsteads.  He was noted for his strength and was a champion wrestler. He was about 5 ft 10 inches and weighed as much as 227 lb.  He was a great bear hunter in Norway and an excellent marksman.  He was  in the military service in Norway and came to America when he was about 40 years.  His sisters and brothers came at the same time probably about 1870.  I tell you this as it may give an insight to all the family.
            Your great-grandmother, Christie, of course married Nels Dokken when they were still in Norway [He was 19, she was 16]. 
            It would be fun to see you again, if you ever come back to Iowa.
            Gule is 89 years old now.  Keeps well, although after breaking his hip some years ago, has difficulty in walking and his eyesight and hearing is bad.  I am 75 years and have been lucky to have good health. 
            Hope this finds you well and happy with best wishes from both of us.
                                                Gule and Anna (Mrs. Gule) Trustem

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
My mother is the third from the right and her sister Marjorie is next to her.   Near the left side front is Marolyn with Bruce in the middle front. There are supposed to be some grownup Trustem's in this photo taken around 1935, but they are unknown to me!  On the lookout for Trustem family descendants who might know more!

Almost forgot!
Already looking forward to the next reunion in 2016!