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December 16th, 2009 | in Family, Friends | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays!


We are sitting here in the Portland area, enjoying family and friends, but the cold has been very interesting :) We haven’t been in the cold for 4 or 5 years, so it’s been a challenge to keep warm when we had below freezing for almost a week! Things are looking up, just freezing rain or snow for the next day or so, then just plain ol’ rain. We can deal with that.


We have had a great year; we left our winter home in Texas in the middle of March, stayed in other parts of Texas through the month so that I could do some genealogy. We then spent April in Arizona, May in Utah, June in Washington, July in Oregon, and August in Idaho/Montana. Then it was back to Washington and Oregon for the rest of the year! Yes, we will be here until after the first of January 2010. Then we head south to Arizona and finally back to Texas.


We have been keeping busy with my family while here in Portland. Both my mom and dad had a health scare in August, so it was fate that we had already planned on staying until the end of the year. They are doing great considering all the craziness of this summer/fall.


All the kids are doing fine, keeping very busy in their respective jobs. Mark & Sean are still in the Seattle area, Lisa and her family, are still in Idaho and Mike and his family are still in Texas. Jim is still working at Boeing which is good for both of us.


We had a great new adventure this last Halloween week-end; I was a non-voting judge at the Wine Press Northwest magazines Platinum Wine judging. What a great experience, one I would love to have the opportunity to do again. I got to spit out a lot of great wine while Jim got to actually drink his 😉


As crazy as it may sound, we are still enjoying our vagabond lifestyle!


We hope this letter finds you and yours as blessed as we have been. From our home to yours, Merry Christmas and here is wishing you a wonderful New Year.


You can keep track of us "right here" and I am on Facebook & Twitter too! 😉 (I know, you just can’t get enough of me/us).



Us at Bergevin Lane Vineyards


Kim & Jim

December 8th, 2009 | in Scenic | Leave a comment

It was COLD driving to Walla Walla, it was COLD while there for the Barrel Tasting weekend, it was COLD driving back to Portland! RV’s are not the most weather-proofed home, so the heater runs a lot, and the propane is used up fast. We tuck a sheet under the bottom edge of the couch on the slideout to try and block some of the cold that comes in from there. It helps, but it’s not perfect. Luckily, I have an electric lap blanket and we have an electric blanket on the bed. Keeps us nice and cozy when it’s COLD out there!


ice crystals on the inside of the window


These are ice crystals on the side window where I sit on the couch. They are on the inside of the window from the moisture inside the RV and the COLD outside! On Saturday and Sunday, we did see a few snowflakes falling from the sky, but it really was TOO COLD to snow!


front windshield


More ice crystals, this is from the front windshield. We have a curtain that we keep up to help keep the warm in and as you can see, it must work. The COLD air got trapped between the curtain and the windshield, it’s a wonder it doesn’t snow inside the RV :)


driver side of windshield


More ice, this is the drivers side of the windshield. There was no warm air in that corner, nor did the sun ever hit it during the day.  BRRRRRR


field outside of Walla Walla


As we drove home, you could see where the irrigation was forgotten and not turned off. You would run into stripes of white that looked like snow. It was actually built up ice.


up close, just a field of ice


Depending on when they finally turned it off, some of the ice was inches thick and not melting, it was TOO COLD outside!


ice along the Columbia River


The quiet waters around the Columbia River had ice on them, here is a little ice built up along the Columbia.


Mt. Hood


As we drove west, Mt. Hood finally came into view. Clear, COLD, and lots of snow! The skiiers are in 7th heaven!


Mt. Hood, clear, cold & snowy


Another shot of Mt. Hood.


Well, it’s still COLD outside. I walked today, had to really bundle up as I did the same in Walla Walla. I just keep telling myself I am burning more calories to stay warm when walking when it is so COLD outside. I think I will have to keep telling myself that all week.


Stay warm out there!


December 6th, 2009 | in Family | Leave a comment

One can’t live by wine alone… On Tuesday, Dec. 1st, New Old Lompoc (or is that Old New Lompoc?) released their Holiday Brews! Jim and I, along with my sister Teresa & her hubby Al, decided to give the Holiday Seasonals a try before they were gone. We headed down to the brewery on 23rd in NW Portland. The party starts at 4:00pm and we are there…



We order a couple of tasters, the boys share one and the girls share the other.  My two favorites were the Jolly Bock and the Holiday Cheer (vanilla porter). They were yummy! The Blitzen and Brewdolph were pretty dang good too. We enjoyed a little dinner and a glass of our favorite holiday beer until it was time to call it a night and for us, that is early :) it was a school night after all.

December 6th, 2009 | in Family, Friends | Leave a comment

One would think that after cooking dinner for 41 people for Thanksgiving, one would want to take a little breather… oh, no, not us! Well, it did start out as a Franzke immediate family thing, Teresa, Al, their kids, their "significant others" and a couple of friends, 10 people tops. Well, one thing after another, now Jim and I are invited; as are Mark and Johannah, Al’s brother, his wife and kids… and now we are up to 20+ people :)


The original plan was to do a leg of lamb and a few sides… well, TWO legs of lamb later it was a dinner party to remember. It really was a potluck, so there was a lot of great food. I was too busy out at Lenne on Saturday to help Al, but I did do some of the shopping and lots of the wine.



I do know how to share (even though I did NOT ever get to go to kindergarden) and I shared some fun wines. I did save my Alexandria Nicole Petite Sirah (Mr. Big) for dinner, it was exceptional! Some of the kids went outside to enjoy a cigar (well, late 20’s isn’t a kid anymore, is it???) so I had to help things along and bring over a couple of single-malt scotches for them to try. I am a bad influence in more ways than you can count. Oh well, what are Auntie’s for?


Thanks for including us, it was a GREAT dinner, let’s do it again!

December 6th, 2009 | in Wine & Wine Tasting | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving weekend wine tasting is a huge tradition in the Oregon Wine Country and Jim and I have participated since the mid 1980’s. If we are in town, we head out the Friday after Thanksgiving to check out old favorites and try a few new ones.


This year, many of the wineries did a Pre-Thanksgiving party for their wine club & list people. Jim and I, along with my sister Teresa & her hubby Al took advantage of a few wineries during that Saturday. Jim and I also went out to visit a few wineries on the Friday after Thanksgiving.




Friday after Thanksgiving:


For us, that is a quiet weekend of tasting :) We spent the first weekend in Yamhill/Carlton and then the 2nd weekend in the Newberg/Dundee area. Very quiet, not a lot of crowds in any of the tasting rooms, in fact, no crowds at all. The roads were the same as usual, but for those that did make it out to enjoy the wines, it was much more quiet and personal than usual. That is a good thing for the taster, but not so good for the winery.


There is so much wine to be enjoyed, I keep working at it all the time 😉 Let me know if you are going to be in the area, I can give you some helpful hints on where to go.

December 4th, 2009 | in Family, Friends | Leave a comment

I have a lot to be thankful for; family, friends, being "retired", my lifestyle and my health. We take so many things for granted, it’s great that we can take this time to give thanks for all our blessings.


Turkey dinner was at my sister Teresa’s house (as usual and Thank You for doing this!), with enough food to feed 41 people! AND they all had seats to sit down and enjoy a most wonderous repast. Tables in the dining room/family room, tables in the formal living room and more tables in the "bonus/den" room (where the buffet was situated). Here are a few pictures…



lots of appetizers to get us through from breakfast to "dinner" at around 3:30pm… lots of adult beverages, sparkling wine, white wine, rose, red wine and sparkling cider & hot cider for the kids. 4 dishwasher loads later….



  • 2 24 lb turkeys, both stuffed
  • 15 pounds mashed potatoes
  • gravy
  • candied sweet potatoes
  • 4 double batches of hot rolls (around 8 dozen)
  • green beans
  • potato salad
  • ambrosia (fruit) salad
  • deviled eggs
  • crudites
  • 7 layer salad



  • squash pie (hubbard squash, yum)
  • pumpkin pie
  • gooseberry pie
  • marionberry pie
  • pumpkin cheesecake
  • pumpkin bourban cheesecake (I made this 😉
  • pumpkin squares (way yummy)
  • Martha (chocolate pudding like pie)
  • sour cream chocolate squares (another yummy dessert)


We were not short of food, but then, we were not short of people either! It’s always wonderful to get family together. What a great time, I think everyone enjoyed it, but it takes so much time to get ready and then it’s over so fast. I was cooking for 3 days and "whoosh", the food was gone, but that is a good thing.


I hope you and yours had a great turkey day, however you celebrated.




December 3rd, 2009 | in Scenic | Leave a comment

I love taking pictures; some are good, some are better and some just strike me as interesting. When Jim and I were over in Kennewick, WA for the wine judging, I walked in the mornings for a little exercise, but didn’t want to carry my camera. I remembered I had my cellphone and it had a camera. The last two pics are mobile pictures. The first two were taken with my Nikon. These are all from the first few days of November.


Portland Sunrise


I was up early to take my mom to water aerobics, ran back in to take this awesome sunrise picture.


Bridge over Columbia


Picture of the bridge out of our hotel room window, the water was like glass all day.


Sunrise behind Bridge - Mobile pic


same bridge, but during my walk, photo taken with my cellphone…




another cellphone picture, as you can see, I am a little enamored of water reflection pictures. I really like this one of the house boats near the hotel in Kennewick.