Being a Part

Back in June (July? August?) I agreed to again donate to a local “Feed The Arts” charity here in Baker City. The local Crossroads Art Center would entice people to come in and learn to make a pottery bowl, and for each bowl made our restaurant would donate $1. Last year, it was in the 200+ range. This year? They must have been pulling people in off the streets! Yanking them out of their cars on the interstate! 🙂

No biggie. It’s a good cause and I really like the people involved with it.

Plus, we got bowls.

Feed The Arts Crossroads Baker City

The event wasn’t until November, and somehow I nodded when asked if we could provide breadsticks. Guests would purchase tickets for $15, pick out a bowl, get it filled with soup and get a breadstick to dunk it in. It wasn’t until I was talking about making enough dough with Whitey that he informed me it was impossible.

“How many breadsticks?!??” he asked, eyes wide.

“Ummm, why? Is that too many?” I said.

“Kina, we can’t physically store that much dough plus our regular amount that we actually sell. You know… the stuff we actually sell?” he announced.

“Oh. Well. Ummm. Yeah. I’ll figure it out,” I mumbled.

And we did. The crew were awesome, and for an already busy Saturday night, we found a way to create oven space for three large orders of 100+ sticks. It’s more difficult than it sounds, and I was so proud of them.

The people at the event were stoked, too, and gave me tickets for the crew who worked that night to visit the gallery and choose their own bowl. They brought in their choices the next day, and all were truly works of art. Maybe next year I’ll find the time to actually attend the making of the bowls or the soup event itself.


Also back in July, I was approached to decorate a Christmas tree for a local charity event titled Festival of Trees. Trees of various sizes and holiday wreaths are decorated, and presents are put underneath to garner a larger bid during the auctioning of them.

Last year, our mini tree was sold for too much money in a bidding war (so I’ve heard) and I’m guessing that’s why I was asked to do a 7-footer this year. Last year’s was truly beautiful:

Birds & the Bees

Without my mom here to help, I begged her to come up with a theme and concept for our tree this year. Not only did she do that, but she shopped for me as well! An enormous box showed up at my house, complete with sketches, ornaments, and full directions. I heart my mom.

I recruited Kristen to help me, and we spent a day prepping the ornaments with hot glue, snipping pieces of wire, making ribbon bows and basically getting ready for decorating.

It was ridiculous. Two slightly OCD gals tends to make for one stressful situation.

But everything ended up perfect. PERFECT! Our tree was just beautiful, and I couldn’t have been more proud.

Nature's Small Miracles

We used squirrels, hedgehogs, assorted birds, glitter dusted pinecones, pears, apples and other small creatures to make a snow-covered tree with tons of white lights. Two vacation packages were to be gifted for the winning bid, one to Bend and one here in Baker. It’s funny that one of the other tree decorators ended up being the winning bidder, as she had a gorgeous tree as well.

Here’s a few others in the Festival, starting with the wreaths and minis, then the larger trees:


Mini Trees

Mini Trees

Small Tree

OSU Small Tree

Bulldog Raffle Tree

Large Tree

Large Tree

Large Tree

Large Tree

Black & White Tree

The one above was one of my favorites, decorated by a local hair salon. They had a small wooden bar, martini shakers, that cool zebra chair, numerous gift certificates for salon pampering, and the neatest black & white print of JFK walking his dog at the Baker City airport. I’m sure it went for big bucks, too.

But I still loved ours the best. Thanks mom!

Paizano's Tree

I found it slightly macabre that on the night of the Festival of Trees, Whitey and I were at the hospital that this particular charity is benefiting. While attendees were in listening to live music, sipping on wine and enjoying themselves, we were racking up tens of thousands of dollars in bills. Ironic, isn’t it? Maybe they could give us a “Festival Decorator” discount….


And for our last organized charitable event this year, the front gals agreed to help host the Cat-in-the-Hat for the Baker City Historic Tour of Homes. We were still house-bound from Whitey’s medical issues, and the gals rallied to decorate the small vacation home, as well as host the dozens and dozens of visitors.


Historic Homes Tour brochure


Historic Baker City Homes tour




I wish I had photos. I searched online to see if anyone else had any to no avail. The Cat looked darling, and the other homes that I was able to pop into later that night were all dolled up for Christmas and looked wonderful. I was very thankful that Meagan and Kristen were able to help us stick with the commitment to participate.


Thanks for all of your well wishes recently regarding Whitey. He’s doing much better — as if nothing ever happened, even. Although the bills from random doctors are saying otherwise. Maybe more on that later…

This entry was posted in All About Us, baker city, Friends, Giving Thanks, Our Pizzeria, Teamwork. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Being a Part

  1. shannon says:

    Thanks for the updating. Sending good thoughts your way.

  2. JC says:

    Get ready for them there medical bills. I’m still going through my wife’s! Could have taken a very nice vacation with the money the hospital room alone cost ($958.00 per night for the small single room at St Charles). Ouch!!!!!

    • KeenEye says:

      Hmm. Our room in Boise was just under $900 and it wasn’t small at all. Not that I’m bragging. A $900 a night room should be in Vegas with a personal masseuse, private chef, and a few gold tokens.

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