Happy New Year. Dave Pasko and Jeanette Julsrud greeted people when they came in Jan. 3.

We had 43 meals delivered to John Day and Mt. Vernon by Joan Tayler and Marge, Kenny and John. Thank you.

The Church of the Nazarene served, including Evert King, Debbie Bloom, Tracy Andrew and Dale Stinnett. Dale Stinnett asked the blessing. We had two extra door prizes. A vest purse was won by Ron Dowse. A pink scarf was won by Warren Harris, but he turned it back, and Chris Labhart won and wore it through dinner. 50/50 was won by Carol Roe. We had Swiss steak, rice, gravy, mixed vegetables and birthday cake. Thank you, Driskill Memorial Chapel.

Dinner was sponsored by Wilma Bauer. We had bingo after dinner. Monday, Jan. 7, we had deep dish meat pizza.

Thursday, Jan. 10, will be the John Day Senior Center annual meeting. There will be nice prizes for a drawing: 43-inch smart HDTV, microwave, toaster oven, $100, Grant County Greenbacks, Lenovo Miix 320 tablet. Be sure to call and get your name on the list to get a place at a table. God Bless you all.

I’m a newbie so please forgive me until I learn everyone, hopefully this month, and I will be on my way.

Well, we did not have lunch for Christmas Day. The cooks received a day off. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was a very quiet and low-key event, which suited me just fine. I felt quite lazy too. Ha.

So, we have some very nice snow on the ground. PTL. I am really hoping for more and more snow. The river looks awfully low. I am going to pray for more snow from the Lord and then lots of rain for the spring. If anyone wants to join me, you all are welcome.

I think Jill is going to have some baby kids very soon. She looks like she is going to pop any day now. I need to move her and put her in the goat pen. She will probably have twins again. I hope she has females this time. I can’t wait. Who knows, maybe she might even have triplets. I have heard that goats tend to do that every time they have babies. I’ll let you all know when she drops them.

I think Dolly and Bonnie are preggers too, but I don’t think they will have their babies until May, thank goodness. Bonnie still lets me pet her and doesn’t run off scared from me. I am glad she doesn’t try to jump on my shoulder. She used to do that when she was little. Dolly is looking pretty big around her tummy too, but then all my animals seem kinda fat. I really must try to build a stanchion for the goats. I want to try to make some goat milk soap.

The wild turkeys have been walking around our place and making our dogs howl at night. Grrr, it drives me crazy because they are so loud. I hope it doesn’t wake up the neighbors. That would not be good.

Smokey, one of my cats (the one that peed in the dog’s bowl when she was locked up in their kennel a couple of years back), was hanging out in the shed. That is, until Tigger, our oldest cat, decided he wanted to take up residence there. Tigger chased Smokey away, and she is staying in the barn. I don’t know why Tigger doesn’t like Smokey. He attacked her the other day while I was feeding them. I had to knock him over the head with a plastic bowl. It didn’t really deter him, the stinker.

There is an elusive pack rat in the barn. I almost was able to kill it, but it somehow managed to escape. It must still be around in the barn because the dogs keep sniffing around looking for something every time we go in there. They actually are not that fast. They are pretty big though. Maybe I should set a trap? But then, where would I dump the body of the stinky pack rat? Knowing my dogs, they probably would try to eat the nasty thing. Gross and eww.

Happy New Year, everyone. 2019, here we come.

MONUMENT (Jan. 9) — I must say that not having been to two Tuesday senior lunches in a row has been utterly strange and definitely confused my schedule. Tuesday lunches have been such a routine in the week that to not have it was, well, my world was off kilter. I guess we people really are creatures of habit.

I still catch myself writing 2018 instead of 2019. The fact that it is a new year seems surreal to me. This coming summer, we will have moved to Monument six years ago. I’m still not quite sure where each town is or how many counties Oregon has. I will have to take a crash course on my new state of residence.

Here is some important news that I think just added to make Monument a great place to live and or visit. Ron and Sherry Allen, the new owners of the Monument RV and Motel, have opened up the North Fork Café and Espresso Bar. They offer breakfast, burgers and fries, sandwiches, flavored smoothies and drinks and specialty coffees. You can take it to go or dine in their very cute and quaint dining area. For the summer, they are planning on opening up a nice picnic sitting area.

What a blessing this new place to eat is to our little community. The prices are very reasonable, and my family and I went to give our support on their opening day. The burgers were delish. I wanted to try a coffee (I’m not normally a coffee drinker), but Sherry didn’t think it was a good idea so late in the day. She said it would keep me up all night. Ha. So, I took her advice, but I will have to go back and try one of her strong coffees on one of these mornings. We pray that the Lord will bless Ron and Sherry. They are hard working and an asset to our community. We are so glad that they decided to live in Monument and sink deep roots into this town. PTL.

We are still praying for more snow and rain. I’m at 3,200 feet above sea level, and we still have snow on the ground. It melted and froze the other night. I need to remember to slow down when I step outside. I slipped on the ice and almost fell and landed on my bottom. Hope everyone out there stays safe.

I moved Jill and Bonnie back to the goat pen. They were not happy. They are herd animals, and they don’t like each other. I will move Bonnie back once Jill has her babies. I am pretty sure she will have babies by the end of this month. I didn’t want one of the males with Jill because they stink. I didn’t want the Billy goat to pee all over inside the goat shed either. Yuck. For now, they will just have to learn to get along. I need to shut them up at night — a cougar’s been spotted.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”

Happy New Year. Oh, the plans I have for this year. If they come to fruition as well as the ones for last year, it will be a surprise. I don’t make any New Year’s resolutions. Just meet each day’s opportunities to serve the needs of others, and you will do well. Which was the point of our food for thought: A Christmas candle (or any candle) is a lovely thing – it makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away. And if you were sitting at the table with the candle on it, you got to go first through the serving line. Wonder what it will be next time?

Bruce Kaufman led the flag salute, and Jack Retherford asked the blessing. Our volunteers included Larry and Carlos, who made the home deliveries; Pam, who “mans” the registration desk and also helps with the kitchen cleanup; Tom and Jay, who did all kinds of set-up and errands and after-dinner cleaning; Del and Derrol, who got the floor swept; and Delores and Ginger, who helped count money and did the announcing.

Thanks to everyone who helps in any way.

The $5 in trade gift card donated by Len’s Drug went to Delores Scott. She was my pinochle partner today, but the cards were not in our favor. Oh, well. Such is life in the far, far West. I sure missed playing over the Christmas break too. Did learn a new card game called “golf.” But they had different points for the face cards, and I got very confused.

Assistant cook Dick brought in some more of his greenhouse tomatoes. My, they do get large. And they are very tasty when they ripen. Which makes me think of the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Must be more to it than what the title says.

We had a delicious after-holiday meal today of turkey and rice soup, ham and cheese sandwiches (on a bun or whole wheat bread) and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. That doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but it sure filled you up. Very tasty. Thanks, Amber and Dick and helpers.

Lorna and Krystin brought Gordon Sindt, Marilyn Randall, Charlene Dean and Mary Crawford from the Blue Mountain Care Center.

Want to correct the typo from the last column. The re-typer skipped a line, and it didn’t convey what I wanted to say: “Hallelujah. We can have a peaceful winter. So Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all the faithful readers of these senior columns.”

We celebrated Derrol’s 80th birthday, granddaughter Sylvia’s 8th and Christmas all in the last two weeks of December, and the Christmas box for each family worked out fine. And, if you received something that you need to re-gift, we will start another silent auction to help you — and us — out.

Matt. 2:9-11 “…they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the young Child was… On coming to the house… they bowed down and worshiped Him… and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

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