Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Countdown to Holidaze

listen? ...
do you hear that?
the holidays are sneaking up on us
faster than a cat being called out of the room
on yet another secret mission.
( I do think they all wear pagers, we just can't see them )

the only snowmen in sight today are on the tree

no angels this time,
but the house crow seems quite content to watch over the tree ...

Ho, ho, ho .... hope you're nearly ready for the big day ~

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tardy Packard Update

To get at the split hoses, and replace them, this had to come off ...twice.

One more time ...

Always the critic, Joey questioned the whole bother of it all.

We got the car running...for a few blocks. Then limped back after taking off the air cleaner, hitting it with starting fluid multiple times. It would die. More false starts.

finally made it back into the drive way...

Checked the Internet for answers and found that getting a 'new' fuel pump for a 1956 Packard is pretty much impossible, but one kind soul told us to try a Ford model. Well, after ordering and waiting for that, we (using the term loosely here) put the new fuel pump into the Packard.

That worked ....kind of. We managed to drive it all the way down to my house where it now rests. Now we seem to have more problems, possibly have to pull off the gas tank or something less invasive ( I hope).
There is no time line on when this might happen, because the main mechanic AKA Mr. B is off recuperating from surgery that repaired a few things for himself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Grandpa's 1956 Packard

This is a photo of my Grandfather Burt Nation. He was chief of police for Hermiston, Oregon from 1945 - 1948.

He bought a new beautiful blue and white 1956 Packard Clipper in Yakima, Washington. It's been in the family since then and when my father died, I purchased it from my mother. This lovely classic car has spent he majority of it's life living in garages. It had a few wicked encounters with other cars while my uncle owned it, but still... it mostly sat in his garage and was completely embarrased that it was used to store clothes inside of it. When my uncle died and my father, Bill, the youngest of the Nation children bought it from my aunt, he had the seats reupholstered. Other than that, not much has been updated or changed or even keep in very good repair.

This is the actual mileage...
41,906 miles

Things will change now...

I picked up the car last week from my previous house in Walla Walla to bring it back home to Oregon.

It's hilly in much of West Linn and I live on a street that should be a one-way, because if you meet another car, one of you will have to back up or find a driveway to duck into. So we had to find a flat large parking lot to get the car off the trailer.

As it turned out, getting the car off was the least of the problems. After driving it from one end of this lot to the other, mass quantities of liquid began pouring from under the car....that greenish color that makes you go...Oh, No!...or something more colorful...

After several trips to the auto supply store, added liquids, refreshed carb parts and too many failed attempts at driving it ... some quite frightening involving a steep hill and backing up in busy traffic...

we called AAA.

So, now it rests in Brian's garage and yesterday, I learned how to take off the heater core.

Clipper Valve Cover in a lovely shade of green...

We only have the best of help.
This is Mr. Joey. Although, he had to be chased away because of the danger of draining liquids, he is available for leaving personalize cat prints and clouds of hair on all surfaces.

Heater core. Not the most fun thing to remove. There were screws holding it in place, in places that were impossible to reach...so, we ended up cutting through one of the hoses to get this monster free.

The hose we cut is the (now) short one the right- on the left side of the photo. When the heater core was out, we could see there was a lovely gash in the part of this hose that was behind the core where the fluid was leaking. How you are suppose to actually replace this hose without removing the heater is a mystery.

These aren't my hands ... nor are they small.

The ancient hose clamps were fun to deal with...small hands and a good vice grips seemed to be the ticket, so this was one of the places where I was able to help and I have the grease stains on my fingers to prove it.

Our furry helper relaxed and we ran off to Milwaukie to Harbor Freight tools for new hose clamps, a cute new vice grip (there is no such thing as too many of these) and then onto Auto Supply for new hose to replace the poor old damaged lines.

This will be an ongoing project....but that's all in the fun of owning a great old classic car and this one has more history than most.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Clafoutis in a Pear Tree

I have this lovely old pear tree in the corner of my yard. I've only lived in this house for just a year and didn't really notice the tree last summer until the pears started to show...and fall and fall and fall.
Well, they still fall, but I managed to get out and pick a couple sacks full yesterday. One sack I left on the porch of a neighbor, the other became a clafoutis.

and what is a clafoutis? it's a simple dessert, very custard like with no crust...

most times the pears are sliced and placed neatly in a pattern ...I chopped mine into bite sized chunks, because the pears were quite firm. Plus, there was no way these funny shaped orbs would have ever looked even with all the carving away that was needed.

This is the final results... sprinkled with powdered sugar, drizzled with maple syrup...
it was delicious.

~ * ~ * ~
Pear Clafoutis

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 large pears, peeled, cored, sliced or chopped
  • powdered sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate.

2. Beat eggs, sugar, salt to blend in a medium bowl. Mix in flour. Add milk, butter, vanilla & maple extracts and spices. Mix until smooth.

3. If you sliced your pears, arrange them on the bottom of the pie plate, if you cut them into chunks ... let the pieces fall where they may. Pour the custard over the pears.

4. Bake the clafoutis until it is set in the center and the top is golden, around 55 minutes.

5. After removing from the oven, let it set a few minutes to firm up and then sprinkle powdered sugar over it and serve with maple syrup drizzled over.

This would also be good with a soft whipped cream, dusted with fresh ground nutmeg. Other fruits can be used, I've also made this with plums and I need to try it with cherries, too.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blues at Trail's End in Oregon City

July 19th was the second anniversary for the Ward Stroud band hosting the Sunday Night Blues Jam at the Trail's End Saloon in Oregon City, Oregon. He invited some great people to come sit in and the place was packed. I'm embarrassed I don't have all the names here, but I'll try and get the missing ones next time we get to see them.

Yes, you aren't seeing things, that is Ward on the didgeridoo...something you have to hear to believe ...and then probably hear it again used to give a Blues song something no one probably tried before.

That's Vince Adame on the drums behind Ward.

It also happened to be Darlene's birthday and she joined the band in their rendition of the Bobby Bare song "Marie Laveau"

James Miller on Bass.

Frank "Paris Slim" Goldwasser and James F. Miller, these guys were amazing.

Frank Goldwasser

Robbie Laws is one of the 2009 Inductees into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Both Brian and I have read this book, in fact we've read everything that Chris Moore has written and loved them all. This is one we have on CD and over the course of several road trips -not in the Mercury or Chevy, but in a car with a CD player and where we can hear without shouting ... we've laughed our way through many hours of road time. Today we heard the last couple CD's of the book and had totally forgotten the more than wonderful description of this car.

Please enjoy:

"The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was the perfect show-off of death machines. It consisted of nearly three tons of steel stamped into a massively mawed, high-tailed beast, lined with enough chrome to build a Terminator and still have parts left over, most of it in long, sharp strips that peeled off on impact and became lethal scythes to flay away pedestrian flesh. Under the four headlights it sported two chrome bumper bullets that looked like unexploded torpedoes or triple-G-cup Madonna death boobs. It had a non collapsible steering column that would impale the driver upon any serious impact, electric windows that could pinch off a kid's head, no seat belts, and a 325 horsepower V8 with such appallingly bad fuel efficiency that you could hear it trying to slurp liquefied dinosaurs out of the ground when it passed. It had a top speed of a hundred and ten miles an hour, mushy, bargelike suspension that could in no way stabilize the car at that speed, and undersized power brakes that wouldn't stop it either. The fins jutting from the back were so high and sharp that the car was a lethal threat to pedestrians even when parked, and the whole package sat on tall, whitewall tires that looked, and generally handled, like over sized powdered doughnuts. Detroit couldn't have achieved more deadly finned ostentatia if they'd covered a killer whale in rhinestones. It was a masterpiece. "

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Classic 1957 Mercury Commercial

Part 2

Crusin For Hope

The June 13, 14th “Cruisin for Hope and Hydros on the Bay” event was to raise money for the Wishnofske family. Two of their children are very sick, one with cystic fibrosis and the other brain cancer.

The Milwaukie Amercian Legion provided the color guard the beginning the event.

Brian was asked to help with the judging of the cars, so besides arriving early to enter the 57 Mercury, we saw each and every car in detail. I think the final count was over 125 entered, besides the other cars, etc. just there to be shown.

* Blue Dot Tail Light*

Taking a break at the fountain ...

stay tuned, there are way more photos to post...