Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Mindful of the reason for the season, Max & I are enjoying a quiet white Christmas day. We went out for a Christmas breakfast then drove around town to enjoy the peaceful, snow covered, town while there was very little traffic.

We were happy JR, Sarah and Calvin could come up to see us for the quick pre-Christmas visit. See post below for a view of the four generations together.

We extend our prayers to everyone for peace and good health for the New Year.

- Max & Carol

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Four Generations

Yesterday, oldest son Max Jr brought his daughter and grandson up from Selah (Yakima suburb) for a quick pre-Christmas visit. JR wanted to have dinner at the China Buffet, so here are the four generations of smiling faces, with full tummies, after dinner.

From left to right: Max Sr., Max Jr., Sarah, Calvin... (and Santa in his sleigh).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Cavalry Has Arrived

I am pleased to announce the addition of two new assistants to help me with my Wenatchee real estate business. Perci Owens, left, and Shelley Granger have both lived in Wenatchee for quite some time and are fun, smart, personable and care about doing a great job for our clients.

I've been so overwhelmed with business lately, burning the midnight oil has been the rule rather than the exception.

Max, remember me? I'm your wife! I promise to get Shelley & Perci up and running so we can leave for California in mid January.

Having landed two significant investment group accounts this year, it's time to bring in the Cavalry. Welcome to Shelley and Perci. I'm working on coming up with a "team" name. Any ideas?

Update 12/24/06: So far the only nominee for a team name is: "The TOP Team". Being as we are working for Top Properties, it seems appropriate. Want to work with The TOP Team chics? Give us a call and we'll show you how much fun buying or selling real estate can be!

For current Wenatchee real estate news, info and trends, click here.


Friday, December 15, 2006

2006: Max & Carol's Year in Review

As the year 2006 comes to a close, we reflect on how blessed we are. We are blessed with an enduring love, a beautiful place to live, relatively good health, and lots of great friends!

Here is a look back at our "blogged" year. Click on the blue links to go to the archive page for that month and enjoy all the pictures and commentary. The month starts at the bottom of each page and works up, most recent post at top... a diary type format:

January 2006: Departed Wenatchee for our annual trip to Arizona and Palm Springs, California.

February: All month in Palm Springs. Carol takes her computer, fax and cell phone and no-one even knows she is gone unless they want to see her smiling face. Call her the “Roaming Realtor”.

March: Our primary care physician retired so we both had lots of doctor appointments to get the new guys up to speed. Carol finally found a doctor who could help with her allergy problems. Breathing is a good thing!

April: Spring brought the joy of new blossoms, Carol’s birthday, a new golf season and, sadly, the loss of Carol’s dear Aunt Dottie (from Springfield, Oregon)

May: Carol’s new digital camera gets a work-out and a birdhouse collection is born

June: A trip to Oregon for a quick visit with my cousin Shirley (Dottie’s daughter) and on to Bend to see the new home our friends Jim & Kathy were having built.

July: A busy and diverse month. Carol took an overnight trip to Gig Harbor for some training for a new investor group she is working with. Son Jeff installed stones in our entry courtyard, so we now have a place to sit and relax outside the house. We drove to Cardston, Alberta (Max’s birthplace) to attend the 80th birthday gathering for Max’s sister Elinor. Later in the month, Max’s other sister (Connie) and her husband came to Wenatchee and spent a week with us.

August: We were honored to be invited to our friend Karen & Leo Garcia’s house for an authentic home cooked Mexican fiesta. This was timed to coincide with Max’s birthday week.

September: We celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary with our friends Troy & Amy who were celebrating their 1st anniversary on the same day.

October: We savored an absolutely beautiful Fall season.

November: Cowboy Max, Carol’s blogs immortalized in book, Thanksgiving with the boys.

December: Decorating the Christmas Tree, Grandma’s fudge recipe, The Nutcrackers, The Cavalry arrives, Carol suffers back injury, Four generations meet at Christmastime.

May the joy of the Christmas season be with you and may the New Year be happy!

We would love to hear from you! You may contact us at:

The Nutcracker Collection

When my friend Perci got finished decorating the Christmas tree, I was inspired to go out and find some more new and exciting decorations. The nutcrackers caught my eye, so here are three to start my collection. I hope to add at least one every year. The one on the right is a golfer. How cool is that?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grandma's Fudge Recipe

I posted this story last year about this time. It's such a good (and funny) story, I wanted to bring it forward and post again. Enjoy!

We received this box of fudge from Amy & Troy last Christmas. This is the story of Amy's efforts to get the fudge just the way her Grandma used to make it:

The enclosed note read:

"Dear Carol and Max,
Here is some FUDGE I made from the heart. I was thinking about my Grandma and some of her Christmas cooking. I remember her making holiday cookies, popcorn balls, and fudge. A few years back I helped her make fudge for the family.

So… my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be a good idea to make fudge and put it in small tins as a part of gift baskets for both sides of the family and close friends. It was a well thought out plan with good intentions.

So here is the FUDGE STORY: (I am now convinced that FUDGE is a very bad word)I dug through many boxes to hunt down Grandma’s recipe book. Found the fudge recipe and scurried down to the store and bought all the ingredients. Everything was going as planned until the actual fudge making process began.

The instructions said to boil until it forms a soft ball and folds. So I kept boiling and boiling until the crap started to crystallize! I took it off the burner and as it started to cool it turned into one massive concrete ball! I ended up with this rock hard blob that adhered itself to the bottom of the pot. It was stuck in there so bad I literally had to throw the pot away. Somehow I missed the “soft” ball stage!

Round Two: I dug up an older pot to cook with just in case round one was repeated. This time I cooked the liquid until it started to fold and then I took it off the heat and stirred it for awhile until I realized it was getting very hard in a hurry. This batch did make it to the cooling pyrex but after it was completely cool it was hard enough to break every tooth in my mouth. I think we could use this batch as additional blocks for the retaining wall.

Round Three: I felt I was getting closer to making edible fudge. All I had to do is pour myself another drink and cook the liquid for a shorter amount of time. That should do it right? Mmmm…..well, I stuck to my plan of more drinking and less boiling. I took the liquid fudge substance off the fire much earlier this time. As it cooled I stirred, and stirred, and stirred. I was so confident that this batch was going to be perfect I added a bunch of expensive walnuts to it. I poured the warm fudge into the pyrex and waited for it to cool. As it cooled it was supposed to harden. I waited, and waited, and waited. It did harden some but not to the classic fudge consistency that I had expected. The fudge looks more like a soft brownie but it is edible and does taste good. I cut it up and individually wrapped the pieces just like Grandma used to do (which was an ordeal in itself that I will not go into).

Round Four:After a semi-successful batch, I got the urge to make one final attempt at the perfect fudge. I scraped the bottom of the butter barrel and used every last teaspoon of sugar in the house. This was it, there were no more ingredients to do another batch after this. It had to be done right. I thought about this “soft ball” thing and realized what that means. You drop some boiling liquid onto a plate and when it cools it should form a soft ball. That is the point when you take the fudge off the burner and start beating it until it “folds”. Brilliant! So, I boiled the liquid for awhile and then started making splatters onto a plate. They were not making soft balls, but they sure did taste good. I think my theory was correct with the soft ball idea, but I kept eating all the drippings before they became totally cool enough to make a ball, oops.At this point I was totally “FUDGED up” and just wanted to eat a piece of my creation and be done with the project. I got nervous that the substance would crystallize again so I took the last batch off the burner and started to beat it. I had used all the walnuts in the previous batch so this round would be nut free. I poured the last of the fudge into the cooling pyrex for the final attempt. This might have been it? Well, as close to “good” as it is going to get. It is still a bit soft but at least you won’t break any teeth!

Final Conclusion:I now know why Grandma always had drinks while making fudge. I learned that making fudge is no easy project but love my family and friends enough to attempt making gifts that are truly from the heart. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!
The Greenhalghs "

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Decorating The Christmas Tree

Today we had our Christmas tree "professionally" decorated. My friend Perci (left) loves to decorate so we let her have some fun with our new 4 1/2' tree, with fibre optic lights.

Max & J.R. went shopping for a new tree a couple weeks ago, and Perci and I went shopping for new decorations last week. Today was decorating day.

All was going according to plan until we tried to get some of the decorations out of their packages. It seems like a simple enough task, but turned into more of an ordeal. You can see me on the floor literally tearing the packaging away from the ornaments. I was afraid I would break them just getting them out.

Perci worked for nearly 3 hours making the tree absolutely beautiful!

(You can click on any image to enlarge, to get a better perspective)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Carol's Self-Portrait

Since the photographer gets left out of a lot of the pictures, I decided to try taking a photo of myself next to the giant Christmas wreath by our front door.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner 2006

Here is our 16-pound bird and the dinner crowd. Besides the turkey, there was mashed potatoes (and gravy), sweet potato casserole, 2-berry salad, rolls... and I forgot to put the cranberry sauce on the table. Too much going on at the last minute to remember everything! According to the troops, it was all yummy. I was too tired from doing all the cooking to really enjoy it. I will enjoy the leftovers, though!

In the picture from left to right:
Amy & Troy Greenhalgh, Max Jr., Max Sr., Jeremy, Jeff, Calvin. I, of course, was taking the picture.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Carol's Real Estate Blogs Immortalized In Book

Anyone who is paying attention, knows I'm really into blogging and have been for about 1 1/2 years. Although I've had phenomenal success getting high rankings in the search engines (through my blogs), I'm always looking for ways to improve my skills and understand how to do better.

Last week I ordered a highly recommended and newly published book (not offically released until January 2007) and received it a few days ago. My thrill at getting the book soon changed to jumping-up-and-down excitement when I got to page 22 and found my two Wenatchee real estate blogs listed in the blogroll of one of the nations most highly rated blogs. If you go to the website mentioned in the book, you can actually scroll down the right side column (under Real Estate Blogs) and click on live links and get to MY Wenatchee residential blog and Wenatchee investment blog!

It's amazing to think I was in on the blogging revolution early enough to get my blogs listed in a book about how to blog for real estate. My blogs are now immortalized in a published book!

My arm is still pretty sore from patting myself on the back. How cool is that!


Friday, November 03, 2006

Cowboy Max

You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy. Here are a couple of pictures of Max, taken tonight, in his robe, slippers and cowboy hat. You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

Still a darn handsome dude, isn't he?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tumwater Canyon: Fall 2006

Max & I took our annual trip up the Tumwater Canyon today to enjoy the Fall colors. Pictures never do such an excursion justice, but we can't resist trying.

Here are some of the pictures up the Canyon along the Wenatchee River.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Shoulder

A chronic shoulder problem has plaqued me for several years. Both shoulders are bad, but the left is the worst. A couple weeks ago, after two golf games in three days, it got serious again. Serious enough that I was willing to let the doctors go in and cut something out (or off) if it would make the pain go away.

BUT, we didn't do anything drastic (yet). As it happened, I couldn't even get a doctors appointment until today, so some pain pills had to do in the meantime.

During a consultation with the doctor, we determined there were three options: Physical therapy, a cortizone shot, or surgery. Physical therapy hasn't been a satisfactory remedy in the past, so we opted for the less drastic of the two remaining options... cortizone.

We're hoping this is a long term solution, but we have doubts. In the meantime, however, we'll give it a try and see what happens. At least for now, I am (mostly) pain free and have some increased mobility in my left arm. I think golf is out for the rest of this season, though. Hopefully, surgery won't be required and I'll be able to play this winter when we go south.

The good news is, I did play well both of the last two games I played, despite my "handicap".

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Carol Williams

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Most Expensive Pizza Ever

To read about the most expensive pizza I've ever bought ($222.72), click here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Road Trip Of A Lifetime

Ever since I was a child and my Grandma Oma and her sister, Norma, went on a 6 week road trip across the U.S., it's been a life long dream of mine to do the same.

Max & I have discussed this fantasy of mine many times but never talked about a date or if we would ever actually do such a thing. This week-end I had an inspiration that it's what we should do to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, which will be September 10, 2008... 2 years from now.

We are now discussing the possibility in earnest. I even bought the book "Road Trip USA, Cross Country Adventures On America's Two-Lane Highways". It offers 11 potential driving tour routes... 5 running east & west, and 6 running north & south. If you click on the above link, it will take you to a website with a numbered map. You can click on the route numbers and be taken to a brief description of each route.

At this point, I am definitely interested in starting out, heading east, on the Oregon Trail (Route 8). Besides a keen interest in this historic pioneer route, Mt. Rushmore is the one must see along this route. We have been to Mt. Rushmore once, but we were in such a hurry I've always wanted to go back. Next time I want to spend at least a full day (or more) in the area.

After cruising east and arriving in New England for Fall foliage season, we could possibly drop down the Atlantic Coast (Route 6)... or perhaps the Applachian Trail. We could start the return trip west along the Southern Pacific (Route 10), and then the last leg on a modified version of the Border to Border (Route 2).

One of the biggest decisions is to establish how long we want to be gone, then make the route work within that time frame.

Stay tuned for further developments.

- Carol

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

1st & 23rd

Sunday was our 23rd wedding anniversary. Our friends, Amy & Troy Greenhalgh, who were celebrating their 1st anniversary on the same day, invited us to go out to dinner with them that evening. We went to The Windmill restaurant which is famous for their steaks and pies. Amy had ordered an anniversary cake, so we passed on the pie. When Amy ordered the cake by phone (from the same bakery that made her wedding cake last year) she asked for the smallest cake they make. Well... the woman who owns the bakery is Hispanic and apparently didn't fully understand what "small" means.

After dinner, we went to Troy & Amy's house (which I sold them, of course) for cake. When we took a picture of the cake, we put a full size bottle of wine next to it so you could get a perspective as to how big this cake really is! It is, quite literally, big enough for 40-50 people! We ended up splitting it up to share with our respective neighborhoods!

All in all, it was a fun evening. Perhaps we will make this a tradition in the future. Next year, however, Amy said she is going down to the baker and point to a small cake and say "I want that size"!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Million Dollar Day!

Thanks to some very special friends, I can't help but report my first ever "Million Dollar Day". Two transactions closed yesterday, totalling $1,140,000 in dollar volume. D&C... thanks for trusting me to help you through this very important part of your transition in life!

I've had a million dollars in sales close over a period of a week before but never in one day. Not sure what my previous record was, but this is definitely one to use as a benchmark to work toward again. Next week will be puney, in comparison, with two transactions totalling $176,600! Obviously, I serve a wide spectrum of clients in the Wenatchee, WA real estate market.

Now, in the middle of Labor Day Week-end, we're looking forward to my favorite season in Wenatchee... the beautiful Fall. I love Fall here for the mild temperatures and beautiful foliage colors that lead into winter. It's the best time to golf, too!

Hope you're all having a great week-end and saying goodbye to summer in some fun, relaxing way!


Days Gone By

One of my friends called from Redmond, Oregon this morning, chiding me for not having anything new on the blog. I told her there wasn't really much of anything new going on here. As Labor Day week-end comes and goes, we are looking forward to Fall and some cooler weather.

Then I got to thinking that it might be kind of fun to post some "old" pictures.... from the days when I was still young, cute (and skinny).

Here's one of my Mom & Dad at Crater Lake. Not sure when it was taken, but I would guess in the late 40's.

Here is my Dad holding Clair when he was just a baby. This was taken out in the front yard at our house at 11910 S.E. Ash St. in Portland, Oregon. It was probably taken in late 1951 or early 1952. Notice all those tall old trees?

Then there is me and my brother, Clair, when we were just little munchkins... taken out by the street in front of our house. This was probably taken about 1954 or 1955, when I was 2 or 3 years old. Clair is one year and 10 days older than me.

Until recently, this street, where we lived, was still one of the very few unpaved streets in the city of Portland. It's interesting to look at photos like these, when we were so young, and think about all that's happened since then.

Remember... you can click on any of these images to enlarge them.


Friday, August 25, 2006

The Happy Birthday Dinner

After the fabulous feast on corn smut and other wonderful home-made Mexican dishes at Karen & Leo Garcia's on Tuesday, it was difficult for Max to decide where he wanted to go for the The actual Birthday Dinner. When I asked him where he wanted to go, he could only say "To Leo Garcias"! Since we didn't think Karen and Leo would appreciate us inviting ourselves to dinner again, Max settled on a different Mexican restaurant, El Porton, in East Wenatchee. It was good and they brought Max a special birthday ice cream dessert and plopped a sombrero on his head for this picture.

Our friends, Kathy & Jim Persing, happened to be in town this evening and we enjoyed having them come to dinner with us. They're the ones who just had a new home built in Redmond, Oregon and I posted a picture of them a while back on this blog.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Corn Smut

Tonight we were invited to Cashmere for an authentic home-made Mexican dinner at the home of our friends Karen & Leo Garcia. The hit dish of the night was "corn smut". Don't ask me to explain it. I just know it looked very bad but was very good! If you want to know any more, you'll need to do the research yourself. That is one informational link, but you can find several others by going to and typing in "corn smut".

There were lots of other things to eat that I had never heard of and, to this moment, can not explain... but it was ALL really good.

Karen is my massage therapist and her husband is the Director of the Hispanic Horticultural Program at Wenatchee Valley College.

Karen started us all off with Margaritas and appetizers of skewered shrimp, avocado and cherry tomatoes... while Leo made all of the real food. It was really really good... with homemade Flan as the dessert. It was kind of a special birthday gathering for Max. Notice the birthday candle on Max's flan?

Leo has known Max for many years through the fruit industry, but they have never really gotten together on a social level before. Tucked against a hillside, Karen and Leo have a beautifully remodeled home in Cashmere. It's such a lovely, peaceful setting.

In the pictures (click to enlarge): Top, Max with his birthday flan that Karen made especially for him. Second picture: Leo with the much discussed "corn smut" and surrounded by other dishes. Bottom picture from left to right: Karen Garcia, Leo Garcia, Max, Don Elfving, Dusti Elfving. Sorry this group picture is a little blurry.

Don Elfving works as a scientist at the Washington State University Tree Fruit Rearch center. Max & Don have known each other for many years and Don served as Master of Ceremonies at Max's retirement banquet. Dusti is the owner of Express Personnel and also Dusti's Gift Baskets.

I'm not sure how we'll ever repay Leo & Karen for this special evening, but we'll think of something.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Letter From The Prophet

Here is a copy of a letter Max received in 1975 for his work with The Church orchards. Click on the image to enlarge.

This is a very special letter, signed by Spencer Kimball, the (then) Prophet and President of The Mormon Church.


A Church & A Baby Birdhouse

When Connie & I were at the Apple Annie's Antique Mall on Monday, I found two more birdhouses I needed to add to my collection.

The one on the left is the very first house of the collection, but I found a maching "baby" birdhouse that I couldn't resist. I also found this cute church birdhouse.

I'm working on a plan to find little display shelves to put in our outside entryway to display these and others I may add to the growing collection. Connie had this bright idea. Now, I need to get to a craft store and find the little shelves and get them installed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Fun Week

Connie & Bill (Max's sister and husband) left this morning after spending 9 days with us. They rolled in with their 40 foot motor home a week ago Monday and rolled out this morning. It was a fairly relaxed week, but we did a lot of things too.

I learned Connie is very good at weeding the flower beds and trimming roses... and (I already knew) Bill is a good fix-it man. Connie was also very helpful around the house and with meal planning. Bill had to plan his time around the Arizona Diamondback games and the Bill O'Reilly show each day. Good thing we have multiple TV's in the house because I was watching the Seattle Mariner games, of course! They're easy company to have and we'll miss them.

Here is a picture of (from left to right): Bill, Max & Connie in front of the motor home this morning (Saturn in tow) just before the departure. They're travelling in style! Click on image to enlarge.

They checked in from Wilsonville, Oregon late this afternoon and will work their way down to Trinidad, California (northern coast) where they'll spend a month. They won't actually get back home in Sun City West, Arizona until late October or early November. They've been on the road since April.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My Brave Sister-In-Law

Monday I took Connie to the monster Apple Annie's Antique Mall in Cashmere, which she loved. While wandering around, my friend June Dorner called me on my cell phone to see what I was doing for lunch. June had been on a trip for about a month, so I told her to come on up and have lunch with us at Studebaker's restaurant.

June did come up and brought our friend, Vi. We had a nice time visiting and Connie was admiring June's short haircut. June says she cuts it herself and would give her (Connie) a short cut too if she wanted it. Connie took her up on the offer and here are the results.

Connie is loving the new do... and looking forward to the easy care style for the rest of their trip. Here are the before, during and after photos. Remember to click on the images to enlarge!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Visiting Saint Laurent Winery

This morning we took Connie & Bill for a drive up to the Saint Laurent winery on Hamlin Road, about a mile above the Three Lakes Golf Course.

We went specifically to walk through the gardens, not to partake in the wine tasting. It's absolutely worth a special trip just to stroll through the gardens and gawk at the view of the entire Valley and the Columbia River below. Click on the winery link and you can see more pictures, learn more about their history and keep current with the various events they host up there. It's a pretty cool place.

As with our trip to England, I was fascinated by the (no mortor) rock walls that were everywhere. I'd love to know who constructed them. It's very labor intensive and definitely an art form! Click to enlarge photo.

On the return trip, we continued up over Stemilt Hill, where there are still some unpicked bing cherries hanging on the trees. Then we came down the Stemilt Creek Road to the Malaga/Alcoa Highway and on home.

Believe it or not, this picture at the lower left is the restroom building!

Be sure to click the smaller images to enlarge, so you can get the quality in the details.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Strolling Through Leavenworth

Click on photos to enlarge:

This afternoon Max & I and Connie & Bill went to Leavenworth for an early dinner. We left about 3:00 to beat the Friday night crowds. It's been so hot in Wenatchee, we thought it would be a little cooler up there. It was a little cooler, with a slight breeze and quite pleasant in the shade. We had dinner at a very small place called PAVZ on Front Street.

PAVZ had a fairly diverse menu, with crepes being their apparent specialty. Max had their seafood crepe, which was a generous serving and very very tasty. I know this because I snictched a couple of bites. I had the clam chowder, a salad and some fresh bread. Connie had the spinach and chicken crepe and Bill had the Caesar salad with blackened salmon. Prices were reasonable.

Leavenworth is always a fun short trip, which we often take when company is in town. It's fun to stroll the streets and select a place to eat. Also, they have scads of hanging baskets and barrels full of (mostly) petunias. You can even take a leisurely stroll about town in the horse drawn carriage.

After dinner we strolled around Leavenworth for a bit then stopped at a couple of fruit stands on our way back home. We were specifically looking for fresh cherries. Prey's fruit stand cherries looked a little dehydrated, so we drove onto Smallwood's Fruit Stand near Peshastin, where their catch phrase is "Farm Fun In The Country Sun"... and we found some excellent Bing cherries.

Also, this big fat turkey was wandering around the fruit stand at Smallwoods. I had never seen a real (live) turkey up this close. Smallwood's also has a full fledged petting zoo for the kids and this little train decorated like cows that a tractor pulls around the area. They go all out to decorate the area for the various seasons. If you're traveling and have kids with you, it's a great place to stop for a little entertainment... and a good selection of quality fruits, too!