Monday, March 30, 2009

Waterfall Tour

On Saturday and Sunday we took the girls to two of our gorgeous Oregon Waterfalls.
Here is Silverfalls just outside of Silverton Oregon

Gorgeous Multnomah Falls along the Columbia River Gorge - just east of Portland.

It's been a fun trip and visit and we're going to be sorry to say goodbye to our beautiful friends later on today. Now it's our turn to go visit them in sunny Southern California!
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sentimental Sunday No. 4

We travelled to Canada in March 1997. John James - "J.J.", was two years old. Since we live in Oregon, driving to Kelowna was definitely an option, and the way chose to travel. So, on the first night away from home, we stayed at a hotel in Everett Washington.

We got checked in and were given the keys to our room. I was teaching John how to count and to recognize his numbers, so I showed him the room number when we got off the elevator and told him to go find the room. We toddled down the hall, with him stopping at most doors, until he we found the correct room. As Richard put the key in the door, John pushed past him and ran into the room. He stood in the middle of the room, hands on his hips, turned around a couple of times looking at everything and exclaimed, “Niiiiiiice”. He was already developing discerning tastes and loves to travel to this day – but only the finest accommodations will do!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Ziff Girls Arrive!

The train arrived on Thursday at 2:30. After a 29 hour train trip - Julia, Angela and Jourdan arrived in Salem from California!

We took them to Riverfront Park
And for a ride on the Salem Carousel
Angela ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jourdan
On Friday we went to the coast.
We visited Lincoln City and Depoe Bay

It's been a fun trip so far, filled with lots of laughs - and a good amount of Guitar Hero. Today we are off to Silver Falls, and tomorrow Multnomah Falls and OMSI.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Funny - we've lived in Oregon for 13 years now, but have never eaten at Burgerville. I've heard people talk about it, and say that it is very good. But, we don't have one close to us - so the opportunity has never presented itself.

The other day a friend was telling me how fantastic Burgerville is - and that she thought it was better than In-N-Out Burger. Now, them's fightin words in the Mulligan household. J.J. has begged us to drive almost 500 miles to Redding California so that we could have In-N-Out for dinner. (Redding is the closest one to us - and NO we didn't make the drive) SO, on Monday we decided to give Burgerville the taste test.


Now, we wouldn't go as far to say it was better than In-N-Out, but it was sure right up there - and a whole heck of a lot closer than driving 500 miles. If you have a Burgerville close to you - go! They use local products and the burgers were very good. Oh!, and the Rosemary Shoestring Potatoes are to die for!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sentimental Sunday - No. 3

Summer of 1975. Did you see it? The biggest movie of the summer was Jaws. Kept me out of the ocean for years!

My dad and I had special things that we did together – just the two of us. Going to the movies together was one of them. We went to see Jaws; I was almost 16. We both had our popcorn and our sodas. We sat in the darkened theater and were totally involved in the movie. At one point I got startled; I jumped and screamed and dumped my entire coke in my Dad’s lap. I remember looking over at him, handing him all the napkins I had, telling him how sorry I was. And, in that darkened theater he looked back at me and uttered one of his famous sayings, “Cindy Lynn, you’re about as handy as pockets in long underwear.” I laugh about it now, because I can remember that look on his face. He wasn’t all too happy with me, but what are you going to do?

Some of Dad’s other favorite sayings to me were:
- You’re like a bull in china shop
- You’re as handy as a screen door on a submarine

He called me “Petunia” and “Daddy’s Little Sweetie Pie”.
Love you Dad!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Week To Go....

... until our friends from So. Cal will be here for a visit. We're so excited. Julia and her daughters, Angela and Jourdan, are coming up on the train. They will be here for a long weekend and we hope to take them to many scenic venues where they can experience all the wonders of Oregon. It's their first trip here - and the first time we've seen them in several years - so we are ALL very excited and happy. Unfortunately, Neal isn't making the trip this time. We hope that the three girls have so much fun that the entire family will come up for a visit next time. Love you guys! Have a fun train ride! Here's a photo of Julia, Angela and Jourdan!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patricks Day

From the Mulligan Household to yours... Wishing you the most Happy St. Patricks Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sentimental Sunday - No. 2

It's time for the second intallment of Sentimental Sunday. I've decided that my Grandma Maurine's photo from 1900 will be the "Sentimental Sunday" logo. So, enjoy another stroll down memory lane.

I turned eight on August 31, 1967. My mom and dad gave me a party at home with my friends. This particular birthday party stands out in my mind because of the cake. My favorite was chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate ice cream. Not much has changed. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate is STILL my favorite.

Anyway, this was the year that mom decided to try something new, which is never a good idea when company is coming. She had seen a recipe for making the cake icing with sweetened condensed milk – Eagle Brand. Now, I absolutely LOVE Eagle Brand! My baby formula was made with it – so it truly is like mother’s milk to me. But let me just state for the record… not a good idea for making cake icing.

My cake looked beautiful, but after Happy Birthday was sung and my candles had been blown out, it was time to cut my cake. I vividly remember that when my Mom cut into the cake and pulled the knife across the length of it (it was a 9 x 13 pan) the cake icing pulled off the top of the cake right along with the knife. She laughed it off, said that the knife must be sticky, so she went and got a glass of water and dipped the knife into it. Unfortunately, when she made the second cut the exact same thing happened. I was so embarrassed. Funny how small things seem so momentous when we’re younger. The icing never did cling to the cake; it just laid on top as a completely separate layer.

I don’t remember how the cake tasted, or really much else about that party, only the icing incident. As good of a cook as my mom was – she did have some disasters. Like the time she made a delicious apple pie for dessert when we had company over for dinner. It looked beautiful – but she couldn’t cut through the crust, no matter how hard she tried. My dad, in his funny way said – I have an idea! He went out to the garage and came back in with a skill saw! Everyone thought that was pretty funny… except for my Mom. I think we ended up just having the vanilla ice cream for dessert that night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol - Week One

Are you a fan? We certainly are! Richard and Cindy are involved in an "Idol Contest" this year. We'll see how we do. Here are our picks:

Lil' Rounds ~ Adam Lambert ~ Allison Iraheta

Alexis Grace ~ Danny Gokey
Photos courtesy

We sure enjoyed the show last night. Tonight is the elimination round. Hopefully none of these five will be leaving just yet. We're keeping our fingers crossed for them to make it into the finals!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sentimental Sunday

Maurine, age 5 - 1900
I’ve decided to begin a new feature on our blog – Sentimental Sundays. Each Sunday I plan (notice the word “plan”) to post a story from our past. We’ll take a stroll down memory lane.

Maurine Esther Moses - March 1, 1895 to July 29, 1974
My maternal grandmother, Grandma Maurine, was a working girl… back when most women were not in the workforce. She had to support my mom and herself after my grandfather ran out on them in 1925. (What a guy!)

Grandma played piano in bars, and picked up work where she could find it. Much of this time was during the Depression. One thing that she was very good at was secretarial work. She could take dictation and type faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. She supported herself all of her adult life. She worked until she was 74. A truly amazing woman that I looked up to – and miss very much!

When Grandma went to work she was always dressed fashionably. She wore high heels, beautiful dresses, and nice coats. Gloves were required in those days – and she had many pair. When she would get home after work she always came to our house first. She lived right up the street from us, but came to our house for dinner every night. I loved my Grandma very much, and I would get very excited when she got home. One of my favorite things to do was to play dress up. And, so with my held very high, with an empty ice cream carton on top, I would don my Grandmothers good coat and gloves and play dress up. She never worried that I would get anything on her good clothes; she was happy to let me play!As I grew older, I was allowed to visit Grandma’s office. She taught me to type and to file and I thought she was the greatest secretary in the world. Her boss thought she was too. And on the days that I was at home, waiting for her to get home from work, I would stand in our front yard and watch for the bus to let her off at the opposite end of our street. I would yell in the house to my mom that grandma was home, and then I would run all the way down the street, as fast as I could, to meet her and ask her about her day. I so enjoyed our stroll back down the street while we would talk and laugh.Grandma Maurine was a really great lady. She had a bigger heart than anyone I’ve ever met. How sad that it was actually her heart that finally gave out on her and took her from us. On her last day I was reading the Roy Campenella biography, “It’s Good to be Alive”. I asked Grandma to hand me my book, and as she looked at the title she said, “You know, Cindy, it really is good to be alive.” It was only a few hours later that she was gone. I find great comfort in the fact that she died as she lived – surrounded by family and enjoying life until that last minute.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gumbo YaYa

I received some exciting news yesterday! Some of you may be aware of my recipe blog, "Gumbo YaYa." I enjoy posting recipes and taking pictures of my food to share with all of you. Well, I submitted my blog to "Foodie BlogRoll" and have been accepted! I'm really excited and have already received several visits from other food bloggers. If you haven't checked out Gumbo YaYa, click here for a visit. Happy Eating!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adoption Day!

14 years ago today a wonderful boy came into our lives. His birth mother chose us to be his parents. What an honor.

We are so blessed and grateful for this now teenage handful. He completes our family - and makes every day interesting and different. Our beautiful John James, named after both of his grandfathers, is the light of our lives. We love him so much.
Each year on March 2nd we celebrate "Adoption Day". It is the day we became a family. We go out for a nice dinner - John chooses the restaurant. This year he chose Rudy's. One of his favorites! He loves steak - and their baseball cut sirloin is "to die for".

To quote a beautiful poem - "you did not grow in my tummy... you grew in my heart". And, you continue to grow in our hearts. We love you John! Forever!
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