Monday, August 31, 2015

Wesley Gerald Robison & the School Bus

You know they say, that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this can be so true. A picture can also bring up a thousand questions, and make you wish, that you had listened more carefully, to your grandmothers stories, while you were growing up. No picture  in my collection, has stirred up more thoughts, of how I wish I knew more, than this one of my father, standing in front of a school bus. I have always wanted to know more about this picture, and as fate would have it, today, a little window was opened, on the past, "quite by accident", (if you believe in such things), that was going to shed some light, on this very subject.

It all began with my twin sister, who had the same exact wish, to know more about this picture, as I did. She knew, that dad, Wes, had worked for a company called, "Quitslunds", right out of high school, and yet could never get a lead on the company, or what it was, that they did exactly?! Well, today would forever change all that.

Here is dad, Wes, age 17-19, standing in front of the school bus, mentioned above.

This morning, when we were chatting, via video chat, we got on the subject, of dad and this picture, and a company he worked for, called, "Quitslunds." Sis told me about an obituary she had recently seen, that mentioned a fellow named Fred Marshall, who had been a manager of, Quitslund Coach and Body Corp., of  North Bend, Washington. This immediately triggered my memories, of Grandma Lillie, telling stories, of how dad got a job working for them, right out of high school. But like my sister, I couldn't for the life of me, remember exactly what Quitslunds did?! We knew dad worked in sheet metal, and he worked for some bus company, but not much more.
This made me dig up this picture again, and take a closer look. Together, Sis and I went Googling, to see what we could find. The result, was marvelous!

The first thing to come up, was this flyer, from the Wayne Bus Bodies for Dodge "Job Rated" Chassis, as seen above. This is one, of the many bus bodies they made. The picture, is of one of their customized versions. We were very delighted to note, that this is the same bus, that dad is standing in front of, tho his version, is the standard, so is missing some of the finer details. They made this body from 1948 - 1952.

This works perfectly, with our information on dad. We know he graduated high school, from Mt. Si High, in Snoqualmie in1948. We know from Grandma Lillie, (his mother), that he went to work for Quitslunds. Here on the company flyer, under the name of Sales & Service Reps., From Coast to Coast, is the very company dad worked for. So now we know, that the company grandma talked about, was the very same company, that dad worked for, where he helped build and repair buses, for, "Quitslunds," who sold this bus, to the North Bend, Washington, school district.

So, if Fred Marshall, mentioned above, was a foreman of Quitslunds, when dad was working for them, he could even have been dads boss.

"The wheels on the bus go round and round!"

YIPPY SKIPPY!!! One more small, family mystery solved.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How To Plant A Pineapple

I thought it might be fun today, to show you how I plant pineapple's. You can plant one too, with just a slight modification in how you do it. If you follow these simple instructions, only planting in a pot, instead of the garden, you too can grow a pineapple. However you should be patient, as it will take 18 months, to two years, for your pineapple to grow fruit. Here in the Islands, it is well worth it, for the plant itself, makes for an interesting garden plant.

The first step in the process, is to have selected a good, ripe, pineapple. You can always tell a good pineapple, by selecting one with even large nodes. If the eyes, or nodes, as they are sometimes called, on the pineapple, are smaller at the top, they have picked it too soon. The pineapple should have a light scent. If the scent is strong, it is too ripe. The pineapple should be uniform, firm, with a light colored stem mark, where they cut it from the plant. If that mark has turned grey, it has sat on the shelf too long. Now this last, may be harder, if you are on the Mainland, as the storage and shipping, can make getting a good pineapple more difficult, but if you chose well, it should still grow.

The other thing to note, is to not buy a pineapple, that the center of the top has been pulled out. This will not grow but will rot, as the center is where the new leaf spikes will form.

Once you have sliced off the top of your pineapple, you simply pull off the excess chunk around the base of the top, as seen above. This will expose the base, and the smaller stems.

Remove stems from the bottom, until you see small brown marks, these are the roots that will grow.
Now some people recommend, putting the whole thing in water, until the root spots grow, but I skip that step
entirely, and put the tops directly into my cinder-soil.

This is the step, where you would be using a pot, instead of what I am doing. I just take mine out, chose a spot, in my pineapple garden, and dig a small hole. You should fill your desired sized pot, I recommend at least a two gallon, and fill it with a loose, well draining, potting soil. This will keep the roots from rotting.

Fill in the soil tightly around the pineapple top, and water into the plant from the top, and you are done.
Pineapple's like to be watered from the top, into their crest. Don't over water, but also don't let the soil dry completely out.

Once I have my pineapple planted, I pretty much get to ignore them, and just watch them grow. The conditions on our side of the Island, are perfect for pineapple's, so every time I buy one in the market, I plant the top in the ground. I have over thirty plants now, and plan on having many more.

This pineapple, is one that we got as a gift from our neighbor, Tommy, right before he moved to Thailand. It was an offshoot, growing out the side of another pineapple, he was growing in his pineapple garden. It had not been in the ground many weeks, and it began to grow a pineapple. We are watching in keen anticipation, of a sweet feast, which of course I shall plant it's top, once we have eaten the fruit.

This pineapple, was our very first one harvested, and is a completely different variety, than the one Tommy gave us. These were growing wild in the field next door, which another neighbor asked Gregg to clean up. He threw six plants over the fence to me, and soon after I planted this one, it proceeded to put up a stalk, and grow a pineapple. Tho small, this tasted like strawberries, and was quite delicious.

A word of caution, pineapples plants can get to be three feet across, and their spikes are very stiff and sharp. I do not recommend them, being planted around small children, unless you grow them in a place they cannot hurt themselves, by running into them. Also, they are not cold hardly, and tho they would probably enjoy your summer garden, they would need to be brought indoors, once the nighttime temperatures dropped.

Here is a picture of my backyard pineapple garden. I think there are fourteen, or fifteen plants there now, of several varieties. The yellow topped ones, are white pineapples, and the very best tasting pineapple you can buy locally. They are like eating candy, and the centers are so soft, you can eat them too.

The plants in the black pots, are passion vine. I was given a passion fruit from a fellow, who grows them on his organic farm. After I had eaten it, I put the seeds in a pot, just to see how they would do?! They went gangbusters, so I repotted each one in its very own pot. I used to have about thirty plants, but I gave some away to friends. These are purple passion vine, but I am hoping to get some of the red variety too.

The plant in the blue pot, is a small bushy variety of bamboo. However it is a creeper, so I am keeping it contained, so it can't spread all over, and become a menace.

Here in Hawaii, pineapple's make for an interesting, edible, landscape plant. I plant them, wherever I find a space to put them. They are great for softening the edges of my large garden boulders, or defining the edge of the front driveway.

I hope you have enjoyed this pineapple tutorial, and if you have the space, and the patience, will give growing a pineapple a try.

Mauna Kea Sunset - Big Island Hawaii

I was all settled in last evening, for a well deserved rest on the couch, when Andrew came in, and told me to go look out the kitchen window. This is what I saw, so I bolted out the door, to get my camera out of my shop, and snap off a couple of quick pictures, before the light changed.

I love the fact that we have a view of Mauna Kea, from the windows in our kitchen, and dining room. Last nights sunset, was truly the most glorious one I have seen, since we moved here. 

If you look real close, you can just see the observatories, at the top of the mountain. The cloud formation at one point, looked almost like an eruption.

The sky was so lit up, it looked like it was on fire, and the camera, tho a good one, still does not do it justice.
I hope you enjoy these, as much as I did taking them.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Grandma Lillie Mary Thompson-Robison

These pictures I post today, are in loving memory of my grandmother, Lillie Mary Thompson-Robison, who lived to the right good age of 94. She was the best grandma, a girl could ever have. So family, take a moment here today, and remember all the good times, you ever had with Grandma Lillie.

These three photo's she had taken at a studio, so that she could send them out to family and friends. I remember it being so odd to see grandma, without her glasses, after she had eye surgery. I had grown up seeing her always with them on, but must say it was nicer to see her without them. She had such pretty blue eyes, that sometimes twinkled, with laughter, such lovely white hair. She used to have it dyed, a reddish brown, when I was a child. She said it was because she didn't like it being, "Mouse brown."

Here is grandma's house, the old country store in Auburn, Washington, across from the Grange Hall. I had forgotten all about having this picture. Don't you love Cheri & Mel's T-bird?! This was taken in 1976, when I was traveling with them, on our way to a wedding in Canada, they were involved in. I guess you could call me, Dustin's first nanny.

In fact, this is grandma, holding Dustin Eugene McGuire, her grt. grandson. Cheri & Mels eldest. This was taken in her back yard, over by her old garage, at the same time, the above house picture was taken.

These two pictures were taken in 1983, when grandma came to visit us, at our house in Odell, Oregon. In the bottom picture, she is holding our daughter. Yvonne Marie Hanners. Grandma stayed for over a week, and we had such fun times, taking her sight seeing all over Hood River Valley, and visits with Mom & Dad Hanners, (Dan & Maryann), at their orchard. She and Dad had a great time, talking about Doniphan, Missouri together. (More on that later.)

This picture was taken in 1985, while we were visiting grandma in Auburn. She is holding my daughter, Yvonne Marie Hanners, her grt. granddaughter. We were just getting ready to go to church. Don't they both look nice?!
Grandma and her family, the Thompsons & the Becks, were members of the Church of Christ Church. The nicest group of Christians, you could ever hope to meet. I went to church with grandma, in Enumclaw, every time I visited her, and always had wonderful fellowship with them. Her church was always, very central to her life. She taught children's Sunday school there for many years.

These are of grandma, at her place in Auburn, before and after her eye surgery.
She really gave us such good memories, and always left the welcome mat out, for all of us.

Grandma, & me, Lesa Lin Robison-Hanners, & grt. grandson Matthew Autrey Hanners.
Funny thing, I still wear that blouse, here in Hawaii, even if it is 30 some years old.

Grandma loved to play croquet with my kids. Here she is playing with my two sons, Andrew Gregg Hanners, and you can just see Matthew, back behind Andrew. My daughter Yvonne was playing too, but I don't seem to have her picture. Don't you just love grandma's hat?!

These last pictures were of grandma, Thanksgiving 2001. She so wanted to come to my house that year, to visit once again with Dad & Mom Hanners, and to see the kids and us. Sadly it was the last time I saw her, before she went home to Jesus. I really cherish the memories of that last Thanksgiving. She was a great lady, and at 93, was still able to get up, and walk around by herself. Sadly, her mind, was not as strong as her body, and she suffered from dementia at the last, and was not herself.
Grandma lived a life, full of adventure, tho not intentionally, nor always of her own making. She always had a smile, and a welcome, and tho she had, more than her share of sorrow, her simple faith in God, saw her through it all.

In future posts, I will try and share some of her stories, for she had wit and charm, and a natural gift for story telling.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Orchids In Bloom & Gardenia

I am so happy today, because some of my orchids are in bloom, and are just breathtaking. I couldn't wait to get out with my camera, and have been waiting impatiently, for the rains to stop. Most of these are one's that I bought up mountain at Atkasuka Orchids. They are a wonderful company here, that even ships to the mainland. Whenever I feel a bit down, I can look out my shop window, and see these beautiful flowers, along with the birds, and it always brings me a sense of peace.

If these flowers aren't enough to cheer you, I suggest Googling in Images, Fields of flowers.There are pages and pages, of the most beautiful scenes, you could ever lay your eyes on. I was enjoying a veritable visual feast this morning, and it was very satisfying.

These two orchids, are just out my back window, up in an Ohia tree, where I tied them a little over a year ago. It was rather hard to get these to come into proper focus, as the silly camera wanted to focus on one or the other, but not both.

These orchids, are the house warming present, that Toby Kim, the fellow who sold us the house, gave to us. I tied them to a tree, just out my front window, and they are going gang busters. Since this picture was taken, they have put off a third shoot.

These two, are once again, some I bought at Atkasuka Orchids. They are on a tree out the window facing the front road. They smell as lovely as they look.

These lovelies, are one of three orchid clumps, growing in pots, set out on my garage lanai. They are profuse bloomers, and really are as orange-red as they look.

I have many more orchids tied to my tree's, and anxiously await, what their blooms will reveal in the future.

I had to include my lovely big leaf gardenia, whose fragrant blooms, fill the air here with such loveliness. I have four gardenia's, but this one was the only one in bloom, when I went out to take pictures. I have three others. Two that turn orange as they age, and another white, more compact variety. This is a paradise for flowers, and that's a fact. I only wish I could transport their scent, here onto my blog, as well as show you their pictures.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Charles Oren Thompson & Flossie Beck

Today it is raining, and has been for the past several days, so I thought I would take some time, to write and post pictures of my favorite, great grandparents, and their children. I have very hazy memories of grt. grandpa Charles. One is of him sitting in this rocking chair, in their house in Auburn, Washington. I used to crawl up on his lap, and I remember thinking how big he was. I had to tilt my head way back, to look up at his chin.
You have seen this picture before, of my twin sister and I, this was taken at our great grandparents house. The rocker just spoken of, is in the background. It was given to my Grandma Lillie, as well as the table you see there too.

Here are Flossie & Charles, at a bit younger time in their lives, when they were still active. By the time I had the memories I did, of grt. grandpa, he was already ill. The only other memory of him, that I have, was standing by his bed, looking at him as he lay there, right before he died.

I remember going to their house with Grandma Lillie, and being warned not to go upstairs, for honey bee's, had taken over a bedroom, and I would get stung if I bothered them.

Grt. Grandma Flossie, was a very sweet, but very short little lady. She was only 4' 11", but Grt. Grandpa Charles was 6' 5". Flossie used to take my twin sister and I, out the back door, and down through the blackberry brambles, to the chicken house, to gather the eggs. Flossie always had lots of chickens roaming about, and they would come right into her kitchen, and try to roost on her diningroom chairs. When we showed up to visit, she would sometimes shoo them out with her apron, saying shoo, shoo! It really made me laugh, to see her do it. She called them her biddies.

A story was told me, by my Grandma Lillie, of how on one visit, Flossie and my mother got into an argument. It was about a plate of rabbit, that Flossie had fried up, and wanted to give to my twin sister and I. My mother was always trying to be a vegetarian, or had some religious qualm, about rabbit being unclean meat, or some such thing. Anyway, she told Flossie, that we girls could not have any, but it was too late. When they looked at the table, what should they both see, but we girls had each grabbed a piece, and were chowing down on that rabbit, just as fast as we could chew. It made them both burst into laughter, but I can just about guarantee, that my sister and I, suffered a right good spanking later.
Great Grandpa Charles Oren Thompson was born, May 27, 1879 in Portis, Smith Co., Kansas and he died, October 14, 1963 in Auburn, King Co., Washington, just five days after my fourth birthday.
Great Grandma Flossie Beck was born, January 15, 1889 in Ottaway Co., Kansas and she died, December 31, 1964, just a year and a few months after grt. grandpa. I remember both of them as being such gentle folk, and very kind to me, and my twin sister. Flossie had such spunk, and always such a twinkle in her eyes. I remember crying, because I was never going to get, to go see her again.

This is their marriage license, that Grandma Lillie kept for many years, in a frame on her wall. It is not the original, she told me, but a copy. The original faded away to nothing, and was replaced by this one, which by the time I copied it, it too had faded, until you could barely read the writing. I darkened the writing again, at grandma's insistence.

Grt. Grandma Flossie, must have loved flowers, for her girls, were all named after them.
Grt. Grandpa & Grandma had 5 children:

  Sorry this is such a poor picture of Rosa, it was copied from an old worn out, black paper photo album.

1.Rosa Juanitta Thompson was born March 14, 1905 in Belva, Beaver Co., Oklahoma  she married October 30, 1926 in Teloga, Dewey Co., Oklahoma, Lloyd Melvin Ratliff.  She died September 25, 1994 in Enumclaw, King Co., Washington.

Of all of grandma's sisters, I remember Rosa the most. We used to go to her house, and have these fabulous dinners, with mashed potatoes, roast chicken, and all kinds of deserts. I remember her husband Lloyd Ratliff, mostly because he was too obese, to get up easily from his chair, and he wore blue overalls. Grandma always said, she thought Rosa fed him to death.

The Thompson sisters, left to right, back row: Violet Darlene Thompson & Grandma Lillie Mary Thompson.
left to right, front row: Rosa Juanitta Thompson & Daisy Ruth Thompson.
The Thompson sisters & Unknown: Left to right: Unknown relative?, Rosa, Daisy, Violet, & Grandma Lillie Thompson.
Update: First person in picture above, is, Alta Mae Randolph, wife of Ashley Elwood Ratliff, younger brother to Lloyd Melvin Ratliff. Making her sister in-law to Rosa, who she is sitting next to.

2.Violet Darlene Thompson was born April 13, 1906 in Belva, Beaver Co., Oklahoma. she married William "Bill" Jacob Furnish. She died March 29, 1990 in Auburn, King Co., Washington.
3.Grandma Lillie Mary Thompson was born, February 14, 1908 Belva, Beaver Co., Oklahoma.
Now before some of you get excited, about the middle name I have given grandma. It is the name she went by, recorded by the census taker, in the 1920 census, in Taloga, Dewey Co., Oklahoma. m.Gerald Dawson Robison on July 14, 1930 in Guymon, Texas Co., Oklahoma. She died, December 30, 2002 in Newport, Pend Oreille Co., Washington, and her ashes were buried, beside her husband, in the Mt.Si Cemetery, in North Bend, King Co., Washington.

1910 Census Dist: 141. Moffett, Saguache, Colorado - Sheet 13A  Household 52
           Household            Gender     Age                  Birthplace
Head  Chas Thompson     M           36 b.est 1874    Kansas  fb.Indiana  mb.Delaware
Wife    Flossy Thompson  F             32 b.est 1878    Kansas  fb.Illinois  mb.Kansas
Dau     Rosie Thompson   F             5   b.est 1905   Oklahoma
Dau     Violet Thompson   F            4   b.est 1906    Oklahoma
*Dau   Lillie Thompson     F            2   b.est 1908   Oklahoma

1920 Census District: 216 Taloga, Dewey Co., Oklahoma - Sheet 5B Household 103 Line 100
           Household                  Gender     Age                   Birthplace
Head  Charles O Thompson  M             40 b.est 1880    Kansas  fb.Indiana  mb.Delaware
can read & write
Wife   Flossie Thompson       F              31 b.est 1889    Kansas  fb.Illinois (Missouri) mb.Kansas
can read & write
Dau    Rosa Thompson         F              14 b.est 1906    Oklahoma   can read & write
Dau    Violet Thompson        F              13 b.est 1907    Oklahoma   can read & write
*Dau  Mary Thompson        F               11 b.est 1909    Oklahoma   can read & write  Grandma.
Son    Russel Thompson       M             9   b.est 1911    Oklahoma   can read & write
Dau    Daisy R Thompson    F              6   b.est 1914    Oklahoma   can read

Lillie graduated from Canton High School, Canton Co., Oklahoma, April 22, 1926

4.Lemuel Russell Thompson was born, August 05, 1910 near Clearlake, Beaver Co., Oklahoma. m1.July 05, 1932 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Phyllis Lillian Chase. m2.Kathy ?  He died June 20, 1992 in San Bernardino, California. I have nothing I can add about Russell. I never met him, or if I did, I was too young to remember. Grandma Lillie was very close to her sisters, and lived near them, in Auburn, King County, Washington. Grandma never even told stories that included Russell, so he is a complete mystery.

I know this isn't a very good picture, but it is the only one I had, of Grt. Grandma Flossie on a horse. She is on the left, and son, Russell is on the white horse. Notice there are no saddles, and it doesn't look like much in the way of bridles either. I wonder if the hat Flossie is holding, was for her horse? It made me laugh to see the hat on Russells. The picture was taken, somewhere in Oklahoma. Most likely Beaver County.

5.Daisy Ruth Thompson was born June 13, 1913 in Garber, Cleveland Co., Oklahoma. m1.John Johnson m2.William "Bill" Burrows  m3.February 09, 1932 in Taloga, Dewey Co.,Oklahoma Clifford Thomas Kimball   m4.George Brothers. She died April 18, 2008 in Oak Harbor, Island Co., Whidbey Island, Washington.

Daisy had the most memorable birth of all of the kids, in this family. She was born in a gypsy type wagon, that grt. grandpa had built. They stopped off in Garber, to get the aid of a doctor, when she was born. They were returning from Arkansas, where Grt. Grandpa Charles had gone, in search of work. The work soon ran out however, so they were headed back to their place in the Oklahoma Panhandle, in Beaver or Dewey County.

I mostly remember Daisy and Violet from going to church with grandma, at the Church of Christ church, in Enumclaw, Washington. I remember one hot day, Daisy passing out in church, from the heat, and the ladies wetting her face with handkerchiefs, while waiting for the ambulance.