CoffeeHouse 2: The Washburne Cafe in Springfield, OR

Hello Everyone! Ok, the second coffeehouse we reviewed is the Washburne Cafe.IMG_2642 The first thing that I noticed when I walked into the building was the smell of roasted potatoes. I absolutely LOVE potatoes, so I was ready to give it a “thumbs up” without even tasting the coffee! I checked out the decor while Kevin ordered our breakfast (and I made sure to choose a dish featuring those potatoes). This place felt cozy and inviting.

This would be a great corner to just sit down, enjoy your coffee and visit with a friend (or read a good book)

This would be a great corner to just sit down, enjoy your coffee and visit with a friend (or read a good book)

Or how about this corner?  I thought that the photographs of produce on canvas was very clever.  It'd be a neat way to decorate a breakfast nook!

Or how about this corner? I thought that the photographs of produce on canvas was very clever. It’d be a neat way to decorate a breakfast nook!

The cafe also sells locally made decor that would go well in any home (especially if you have a quirky sense of humor)

The cafe also sells locally made decor that would go well in any home (especially if you have a quirky sense of humor)

I really liked these!  I found at least one or two that I wanted to take home!

I really liked these! I found at least one or two that I wanted to take home!

The coffee was delicious!

The coffee was delicious!

And here is my breakfast!  A bown of roasted potatoes, topped with an omelette, packed with bacon and veggies!  It was delicious!

And here is my breakfast! A bowl of roasted potatoes, topped with an omelette, packed with bacon and veggies! It was delicious!

The service was friendly and fast, the food was delicious and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I’m looking forward to the next time I go to The Washburne Cafe! For more information, here is their web address http://www.thewashburnecafe.com/ Elizabeth

Have A Great 4th!!

Hi There,
Just a quick note wishing you all a Happy July 4th!
I’m spending this afternoon getting ready for tomorrow. From getting sodas and water chilled for celebrating in the hot sun, to buying food for our “All American” lunch tomorrow.
Also just a reminder to please be careful with your fireworks, yourselves and your pets tomorrow. We had a historic landmark baseball stadium in our town burn down this week, thus prompting a ban on fireworks in that area. As far as I know, the fire wasn’t started by fireworks, but served as a reminder that hot weather, dry grass and wood, and fire do not mix and puts you on the news (and not in a good way!)

I don’t know about you, but I like to decorate for holidays, and the 4th is one of my favorites. So I thought I’d share what I’ve set out this year. Enjoy! IMG_6839
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Have a wonderful and safe holiday!
Elizabeth

Graduation

The graduate with her mama/teacher

The graduate with her mama/teacher

We now have a graduate. That was a sobering thought for us this past weekend. It seemed like she had been with us forever, even though, we remember that time in our lives before she was born, when she was born, and all of the years watching her grow up. Yes, we did get teary-eyed (at which point my son looked at me and asked, “Are you crying again Mom?”)
Before I had ever met Kevin, I knew that when the time came for me to have children, I wanted to homeschool. I had experienced going to public and Christian schools myself before being homeschooled during my last two years of high school. So I felt that I was making an informed choice. When Kevin and I were dating and talking about getting married, I told him that I wanted to homeschool, and he was on board with that idea. He had met a few people who had been homeschooled and thought that they were very smart, so he had no issue with going that route.

Our daughter arrived 2 months after our first wedding anniversary. Her arrival was just the medicine I needed after a stressful pregnancy. My mom had passed during my 5th month and so I was grieving and trying to still be happy and prepare the extra bedroom for my baby. There were some folks who were concerned that my grief would adversely affect my baby in the womb. Heather’s arrival gave me a new focus. She was a fairly easy baby. I had this little gal to watch as she grew and discovered all of the little things that we take for granted. The name “Heather” means “Joyful Spirit”. She fits that description. Yes, she’s had moments of not feeling so joyful, but she is generally a happy kid with a sense of humor (much like her parents humor).
By the time Heather was 3, I was already scouting around for homeschool materials. I asked friends and relatives who had been doing this for years asking about curriculum (because the one I used in school……..could have been much better). My original plan was to homeschool through the local Christian school that oversaw my homeschooling and in the end, would issue her a diploma. However, by the time my daughter reached the compulsory age to start, the school stopped having that arrangement and a couple of years later, the Christian school closed too. That meant that we were truly taking our child’s education into our own hands. Believe me, I felt that huge responsibility. It sometimes scared me. So I started with a curriculum fair and gathered used books, brochures for all sorts of companies, and had signed up for catalogs for curriculum from all sorts of denominations. To say the least, it was overwhelming to start with. I started with boxed curriculum from one company for most of the subjects and then something else for math. A couple of years later, finances dictated that I find curriculum that was more affordable, and I went the route of workbooks. There were a few years where we were trying to find the right math books that didn’t frustrate us. Math-U-See seemed to be the best fit. When she turned 18, I decided that really the best way to get her diploma was to get a GED. So I called the local community college and found out what she needed to do. They offered classed in Math and Language/Writing. She would have to study for the History and Science on her own. I bought the History and Science books that the college recommended. The classes that the college offered were free. She went to test to see which classes she should be placed in and tested into the top classes! She was relieved! I was thrilled to know that I hadn’t totally messed up her education. So last summer, she started riding the bus to the college. It was her first time in a classroom, and talk about diverse! People of all ages, lifestyles, from all walks of life were in her class, working for the diploma that for whatever reason, they didn’t get when they were in highschool. She surprised me when she’d tell me about volunteering to work math problems on the board for the class. Who does that? Apparently she does! She had teachers who encouraged everyone to not just stop with the GED, but to continue their education. People with GEDs have even been accepted into Ivy League schools! My daughter’s teacher also taught a class covering what to expect from college. At this time last year, college was not something she wanted to do, and now she’s not opposed to it. When she started those classes, she wasn’t sure that she wanted to walk through the graduation ceremony with the college. However, about 4 months ago, she decided that she did because “I worked hard for that diploma!”. Once she had made up her mind about that, she was encouraging her classmates who had taken their tests to go through graduation. By graduation day, there were 5 graduates from that class. That’s the most that the GED department has had in at least a couple of years. The teacher had to get herself a new cap as she hadn’t attended the ceremony in about that long. She took a lot of pictures like a proud teacher would. So, at the ceremony, we were teary-eyed. This part of my job is done. I have a full-fledged adult who is moving on to new things. What they are remains to be seen. Only God knows what is next. I’m looking forward to see what that is.

Walking toward the next phase of her life

Walking toward the next phase of her life

We are very proud of you Miss Heather!!! Love, Dad & Mom

Coffee House Visit #1: Max Porter’s in Junction City, Oregon

For awhile, Kevin and I have toyed with the idea of going out and trying the various privately owned coffeehouses in the area. Probably what hindered that idea from happening was that we’ve become really busy lately. Our schedules fill up and by the time we have a moment to go out, it’s evening, and we’re tired. Mornings, tend to work best for this venture as coffee is the morning drink. I know that some folks drink it throughout the day and into the evening, and it does taste good with dessert, but, at least for me, by noon, I have no more need for coffee.
So………….
Last month, we started on this coffeehouse venture. I suggested Max Porter’s in Junction City, Oregon. Junction City is a small town where everyone knows everyone and if you don’t know everyone, chances are that you know someone who does. This town is known for the “Function in Junction” (where folks cruise up and down the middle of town in their classic cars) as well as the Scandinavian Festival (four days of celebrating the town’s Scandinavian roots, with Frijos, aebelskivers, and all sorts other delicious food, as well as crafts ). The town is full of old buildings which house several antique and craft stores, and nestled in this part of town, is Max Porter’s

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

When we arrived, it was around 10:00 AM. There was relaxing music playing quietly, while the two baristas greeted us with a smile (I thought that one of them looked like one of my daughter’s friends from church. She confirmed it later). I had been to this place at least a couple of times before and I was impressed with it then. Most of the walls are brick (which I really like) featuring artwork and crafts that are for sale. One of the items on their wall was a small chalkboard with the password to the free WiFi on it.  I liked that because it saved me the trouble of getting out my chair to go ask for it (it does sound lazy. I just wanted to relax that morning).

There are rooms for gatherings, or comfortable couches in corners where two or three can just visit.

photo by Kevin Prociw

photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

We decided to order breakfast with our coffee, because well, if we’re going to tell others about this place, we should sample the menu! Kevin ordered the bagel sandwich (which has eggs, tomato, spinach, & cream cheese, grilled on a bagel. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?). I ordered the Max Croissant Special (which has Eggs, bacon & cheddar grilled on a croissant). Kevin’s sandwich arrived with bacon on it for some reason. If you know me or have read my earlier entries, then you know that Kevin is a vegetarian. He was a good sport and just took the bacon off of the sandwich. I did tell him that there was still “bacon essence” on it. Along with our lattes, the meals were filling and delicious. Before leaving, we took one last picture. I thought that the “COFFEE” wall-hanging behind us was perfect against that brick wall!

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Soooooo, iff you ever find yourself in Junction City, Oregon, with time to spare, I would recommend stopping in at Max Porter’s for some coffee and a treat!
Kevin & Elizabeth

The Papasan Chair

In my last post, I shared that we had decided to put Kevin’s papasan chair in the spot where our Christmas tree had been. The intent was to have another place to sit. Well, it is another place to sit………and nap. However, not for any of us.

The furry family members have claimed this chair as their own.

The furry family members have claimed this chair as their own.


Today's "claimjumper" was Oswin.  Cute little mooch!

Today’s “claimjumper” was Oswin. Cute little mooch!


"Ooooooohhhh, you wanted to sit here?"

“Ooooooohhhh, you wanted to sit here?”

One day, it’ll be my turn. But I may need to move the squatters!

Elizabeth

Returning to “Normal”

Happy New Year Everyone!!
It’s that time again. When we put away our Christmas decorations, toss the tree, and put the furniture back where it belongs. It’s time to listen to regular music on the radio and it’s time for Starbucks to put their peppermint mocha supplies in the back room. My daughter would disagree with that last part. She found the peppermint mocha to be “Amazing!”
I am almost finished getting the inside of the house back to normal. I still have our front porch to work on and Kevin still has some lights to put away. I thought I’d post a few pictures from yesterday’s cleaning.

These are just a few of our containers.............

These are just a few of our containers………….

....and I'm supposed to nicely pack all of this away into those containers.

….and I’m supposed to nicely pack all of this away into those containers.

Once we moved the tree and vacuumed the needles (and I realized that Kevin and I both like to vacuum large messes)I brought in Kevin’s papasan chair. For several years, Kevin had this chair in his cubicle at work. He also had a doormat that read “Go Away” at the entrance. The comfy chair and the doormat sent conflicting messages. The lure of the papasan chair always overpowered the message of the doormat and coworkers would come in and visit. So when Kevin had to move to a new cubicle, he brought the chair home and it sat in our garage for a few months. So, for now, we’re trying it out in the livingroom. It’s comfortable, and probably a great place to nap.
Kevin's papasan chair Kevin’s papasan chair

Happy New Year!
Elizabeth

Happy November!

I’m about a day late in my greeting but that’s alright. The month is still new.
Did you all remember to “Fall Back” and change your clocks? IMG_6331

It’s always nice to get that extra hour of sleep eh?
We actually had some Trick-or-Treaters this Halloween. For the first two Halloweens that we’ve lived in this house, we’ve had none and were left with a bowl of non-chocolate candy. So this year, Kevin installed a flashing light on the porch so as to be seen from the main road. This is also the first Halloween that we’ve ever had kids in the house dressing up. The little girl who I babysit and her older sister were with us for the day so Heather helped them dress up for gathering candy. The little one wanted to be “Elsa” from “Frozen” and the older one wanted to go as “Amy Pond after seeing The Silence” from “Dr. Who”. They looked pretty cool! I took several pictures of them on our decorated front porch and sent them to their father.
For our porch, I like to decorate for the Fall season in general. We do carve pumpkins, but try to avoid anything scary. So here are some “Before” pics of the porch IMG_6289 IMG_6295 IMG_6319

So I guess it’s time to move onward to planning for Thanksgiving! Hopefully, I’ll be able to post more before then.
Elizabeth :)