Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Spending the Holidays in the desert with all the kids. I arrived on Thursday, Nick and Caite on Friday and Rick and Drew on Saturday. In the past year, we have all spent time with each other but not all together in one place. The reconnection is good!

Here's to calm, here's to bright!

fa la la la la...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The month and season so far...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Same Day, Just Later

My last blog was on November 15. This is why:

Getting ready to drive down the I-5. Type A me, foot traveling about 50 per hour forward while looking up, ran right into the U-Haul stem. Good thing it's low to the ground. Good thing Rick was there to break the fall. Tough luck that all of me traveled forward except my pinky finger which got hung up on something. It wasn't pretty unless, of course. you like right angles. This seems like overkill for a bone on a little finger but it is what it is. Missing golf and tennis...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just Wondering...

Have you ever heard of Story People?  It's the work of Brian Andreas. If you click on the link, it will take you to a page with the 10 most favorite stories of all time. His stories are all so whimsical and fun and often thought provoking that I don't know how they arrived at these 10. But they are wonderful. You can also sign up to receive a story each and every day delivered to your email box office. I do this and love the fun of it. He's offering a new book with new stories this year. I just might have to grab it up.

Are these the Three Wise People...I know the one in the middle is definitely a girl. She has pink hair.
I'm liking this a lot...

Oh, the delicious possibilities it offers...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sight Unseen

We recently returned from Amsterdam and Paris. I just had to visit that boy of mine. Here is one of my favorite images of Rick and me. Sanding in the letter "M".

 Here is the bigger picture. This sculpture is in two different places in Amsterdam: in front of both the Rijksmuseum and the Hermitage Museum.

Vacation photography has really changed. The new thing is to have your picture taken in front of "Famous Icon #whatever." Forever, people were rushing up to something, a painting, a statue and pointing to it while someone took their picture. Then off they rushed to some other famous thing or other. Here's an example:

If they are traveling alone, they take pictures of themselves with their amazing I-Phone technology  standing in front of "Famous Icon # Whatever". This is too funny!

My son tells the story of visiting the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and not being able to get close enough to see the painting but watching someone take a picture of it in someone's I-phone viewfinder. Seriously! Now it's even worse because people hold up huge I-Pads in the air and take photos with them. Walking down the hall at the Versailles, most of what I saw were cameras, I-Phones and I-Pads in the air. Sort of ruins the view. When on the bus, one guy stood up every time the bus stopped and held his camera in the air and did a slow 360 degree turn with his movie camera running. I am pretty sure people don't really spend the time to watch these things later and for sure they are so busy with their cameras, they miss it the first time too. I guess that will insure a revisit. Maybe that's the angle!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Let the Season Begin...

Ah, yes! It was good to back to the Rose Garden. After a summer of speculation, we finally got a chance to see the new team and they did not disappoint.

The starting line-up included Lamarcus, JJ Hickson, Nic Batum, Damien Lillard and Wesley Matthews. That is some speed. I am totally impressed with Damian Lillard. He runs, he shoots, from everywhere, he passes, he seems to control the game. We needed a good point guard.

At the beginning of the 4th we were up by 19 points, against LA, none the less. Seems we've beaten that team 12 of the last 14 at home. Everything seemed right. Free throw guy was there. The Blazer dancers had a few fresh faces. The fans were as loud as ever. Kobe had 5 fouls and so did Metta World Peace. Isn't that an oxymoron for a guy who is just plain mean. In the end, the score board says it all.

116 to 106. The Lakers tried too little too late. Oh well! Whatever! Blazers ROCK!

And down comes the confetti.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tricks and Treats

I just love Halloween. It's all about kids and costumes and candy and wishing for no rain, at least here in Portland. Sigh! I am not ashamed to say that I do not have a real pumpkin. Sticking my hand in all that muck sort of makes me queasy. This Jack will have to do. You gotta love that he never stops smiling. haha

My favorite decoration is this bat and his delicious invitation...

And then there's the stash. I bought the goods yesterday because I do not trust myself around this many calories. I used to buy early and then had to buy again nearer to Halloween because the hands were in the till so to speak.

I miss that the kids don't tell jokes any more. I make the older ones do so and they always have something in the ready. I probably just slow them down. Too bad... I also miss home made costumes. When I was a kid, my neighbor and I would come up with elaborate costumes. One year we were George and Martha Washington and our joke was a Bill of Rights for students. I spent a lot time making costumes for my kids too. Ninja turtles, witches, pumpkins, ghosts, pirates, whatever. I guess people are just too busy.

Anyway, just three hours to go...

Friday, October 26, 2012


I am cleaning our office. Trying to eliminate the stuff I referred to earlier. The reason I don't really get anywhere is that I find interesting things that are a blast of the past. Today it is a stack of sniglets. I am probably aging myself but surely you remember them. They are words that are not really words but should be. Here are a few examples:

Wishair - the deep breath you take just before you blow out the candles on your birthday candle.

Timefoolery - setting your watch ten to twenty minutes fast in an effort to be more punctial.

Loonieballoonie - the one birthday balloon in the bunch that does sort of that floating thing below the rest.

Lactospansion - phenomenon which occurs when a cup of milk drops to the floor producing enough milk to fill three cups.

Holeymoley - the tiny hole in your pocket that inevitably grows on a diet of coins and keys.

Vatorboss - the guy on the elevator who self declares to be boss of all the floor buttons.

Cinemuck - all the leftover popcorn and soda (generally combined) that people leave on the floor at the movie. Always sticky. YUCK!

Anyway, you get the drift. Do you like to make up words. If so, do share.

Here is a nice photo as my way of thanking you for reading through all of that...
It's at the winery in the Willamette Valley, called Barrel Fence. Bought some wine there but did not drink it before I wrote this post. I swear. Amen!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good Reads: In the Garden of Beasts

Good  Reads aren't always light and happy. One that I read this summer was In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Lawson. His work is nearly always historical fiction. The first of his I read was called Isaac's Storm about the deadliest hurricane ever to hit Galveston. Next I read Devil in a White City which is the story of the building of the Chicago World's Fair along with the story of a physician/serial killer who was operating there at the same time. In the Garden of Beasts is the story of William Dodd, who becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, and his family in 1933, a year that proved to be a turning point in history. It is informative, not uplifting but well told.

If you want to know more about America's response to these events. I recommend this one.

Monday, October 22, 2012


This is my son, Drew. He's 27 today. Happy Birthday, Drew!

 He's all grown up and living in Amsterdam. Yes, I'm jealous. He is in Spain in this photo, which is the beauty of living in Europe. 

Seeing this photo reminds me of a long ago story. He was in middle school. I was driving him to one of his many activities. I had on my glasses. It was very bright. It had to be after July 4 in Portland (inside joke). I didn't have prescription sunglasses so I just put my sunglasses on over the top of my regular lenses. He looked at me and said "You must be really confident." I didn't understand. He added "that you could go out in the world looking like that". It's become a family joke. If someone tells you that you must be confident, look in the mirror.

Hi Drew, comment if you are reading this...

Friday, October 19, 2012


I've posted about my lemon tree before but over Labor Day weekend, when I was in the desert, I discovered something for the very first time. One half of this tree is a lot taller than the other half.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that part of the trunk is smooth and the other half has thorns.

And then I noticed that some of the leaves are very big while others are much smaller.

And finally I looked at the fruit. There appears to be one very large grapefruit (see it on the right) and a million normal sized lemons. That grapefruit appears to be the size of a mini basketball. Everything is green and I have this philosophy to live and let live. So, there it remains. I am sure when it is ripe, it will feed a family of 8.

There is a lesson here. These two species have grown together and rather than excluding one or the other, remain as one tree each doing their own thing. Oh we humans, please take note.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Good Reads: Lot's of Candles, Plenty of Cake

I think I like this one a lot because I have a lot in common with Anna Quindlen. I won't go into the details here because frankly it's more than I care to share on a public blog. If you ever wonder, you can ask me personally.

This book made me laugh, starting with the title. She calls it her memoirs but really it seems to me to be a series of essays about life and growing older. My book group read it and I think I truly liked it the best of anyone, maybe because I am closer in age to the author or have more in common with her. Whatever, we don't always like the same things.

She discusses a lot of things, including Stuff (something we all have too much of), Girlfriends (who are indispensable), Solitude (which would serve us all (You have no new messages)) well, Next of Kin (that's our folks), Faith (which hit home with me) and the best To Be Continued because we are in the best place right now, right here and let's get as much of this life as we possibly can.

Read it and laugh. Read it and think. Read it and understand. Or not. I loved it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Portland Marathon and half

It sounded like a good idea in January when Marcy called to coax Rick to run this half marathon. In the end due to travel and work and golf and the desert and stuff in general, there was not much time for training. But run he did ( "Well, I paid for it so I might as well...").

#32117 is a finisher and for his age group landed in the top third. BRAVO! Hoo-ray! Well done!

Love this photo!

Seen here waving to his fan (me).

YIPPEE! BRAVO! Hoo-ray! Well done!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

August Wedding

In August, we traveled to Virginia to celebrate the marriage of my niece, Anne. She and Tim (yes, dear) planned a most beautiful celebration. In spite of a rainy day, the mood was very festive. The setting was George Washington's River Farm. How's that for dropping names. Situated on the Potomac, it was delightful.

Not wanting to get in the way of the official photographer, I snapped a few photos at the reception.

The lovely Anne and Tim
Cutting the cake, always an interesting endeavor.

Dancing comfortably 

Flower girl Cora...cut-loose, footloose 

The End!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Voices: Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts was the first speaker of the new Voices season. She is a political commentator for ABC news and serves as Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio. She has won numerous awards for her work, including three Emmys. In addition, she has written several books, including From This Day Forward, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty and We Are Our Mother's Daughters.
She has a lot to say about women in the world.

Her talk came on the evening of the first presidential debate. She watched for as long as she could before talking with us. I liked that her information was bipartisan. I, for one, am so tired of news commentators who present their opinion as if it were fact.

She shared that in her opinion, the reason that the country is in dire straits is because of the failure of the members of Congress to cross their party lines. The strong need to vote your party in order to get reelected is damaging to the country. When asked what could be done to change that kind of thinking, she offered that we should elect more women to these offices. Women are more collaborative. She shared that the women of the Senate meet regularly to share ideas and strengthen their positions. She did not gender bash which IMHO strengthened her statements.

This was a wonderful thought provoking evening. I wish that all of you could have participated. However, do read her books. They are well researched and very thought provoking, offering another point of view.

Our usual picture, here with Cokie. Too much fun!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Farmer"s Market Wind Down

I enjoy taking $20 to the farmer's market and seeing what goodies I can buy. I will miss the white peaches and berries and fresh corn and tomatoes. Oh my, just thinking about this makes me glad and sad. Glad for the taste of homegrown without the work. Not much space in my yard. Glad to help the local farmers. Sad because it's back to Bales for produce from who knows where. Sad because I will miss this excursion on Saturday mornings when even in the summer, the air is crisp. There is a month remaining but the goodies are beginning to dwindle.

There is no accounting for the look of things but my tastes buds truly don't care what the look is. And I love the complimentary colors. YEAH!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Smile Your Way to Longevity

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
I conducted a study on smiling.
Dale Carnegie said if you smile at someone, anyone, they will smile back.
I tried, lots of times.
They do.
You try too!

How long will you live...well, how wide is your smile?

TED does it again...
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this…

Monday, October 01, 2012

Golf Gals at the Classic

In August the Safeway Classic come to town. The good news is this is played at Pumpkin Ridge where I play. For turning our lockers over to the golf gals, we get a luncheon with a few of the players. This yearit was Amy Lee and Mo Martin. What great fun and friendly gals!

I always choose to work the tourney, My way of giving back and getting up close and personal to a golf game I can only dream about.

My badge...

and my ticket...

and the venue...

It was fun. The golf was extraordinary. It was Pumpkin Ridge. It was Portland. Oh yeah!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Annual Golf Extarvaganza

Each year at the family reunion, we host the Annual Millar Golf Outing. This is played by one and all whether you play golf or not. The only entry criteria is desire and $10. I always take a photo of each golf team but won't bore you with those here. There are a few standout photos, at least IMHO...

This is "Golf Central" in the orange shirt and his equally talented  (and side-kick) cousin. You gotta love those "gettin' ready grins.  They are as fun to be with as they look...even to their nice old aunt. LOL

Next up is a future golfing  "hall of famer", I am sure. If there is a golf ball, you will see Mason with club in hand.

This year was the First Annual Mini Putt contest. Awards were given for such things as Best Grip, Least Putts, Most Putts, Best Time. Look at the anticipation on these young faces, waiting to see what they won.

My personal award went to best golf shoes worn by a competing athlete...

Need I say more. I rest my case.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Photographing Fifty

My husband is one of ten children and for the last 23 years with a few other years sprinkled in, this family has had a week long reunion in Somewhere, USA. We've been east, west and places in between. I have been the family photographer most of these years.

This is where it all began...

And then, this crew showed up.

Which resulted in this. 

And that's only 46. Another 19 are missing. Hey there is still room at the table. LOL
It has truly been a joyful experience.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Skyped Yet?

My son lives in Amsteredam but I can talk and look at him as if he is across town. Thank you skype. It is wonderful to see his face and to know that he is OK.

He can give us a tour of his apartment, his view, his roommate...just whatever. It make me feel so close to him in spite of the fact that he is miles away. Gotta love it!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Portland vs Tomatoes

Every year I try to trick Mother Nature into providing me with an abundance of home grown tomatoes before September. It's hard to do when the sun doesn't shine until July 4. This year was not different on either count. It's late September and some of the tomatoes are thinking red.

Others, not so much.

My local garden shop had large tomato plants in trellised pots. Seemed like a win-win. I chose one called Early Girl. By name alone this should produce red tomatoes before September. Well here they are, red but small like cherry tomatoes and hard like cherries.

What's an early girl to do?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

St Louis' Finest Eating Establishments

On a recent summer trip to St Louis, my home town, Rick and I visited some old restaurant favorites.

First up was Rigazzi's on the Hill. Known for its fishbowls of beer and toasted ravioli, this was one of our hangouts during our single and softball days of yore. The toasted ravioli thing was invented here. Others have tried to duplicate it but oh so not so. These little nuggets are toasted to perfection on the outside (not tough as leather) and the meat mix on the inside is tender. They sprinkle with butter and Parmesano - reggiano cheese and provide a meat sauce for dipping. YUMMO!

When I sent that picture to my kids, they each asked only one question. Did you get the toasted ravioli? It's genetic:).

Next up on our fine food places was Ted Drew's. That place has been around since FOREVER. How do I know? I'm not saying my age but I was a carhop there when I was 16 and no, I did not wear roller skates. I did spill a chocolate shake down the inside of some guys white interior convertible. It slipped, OK?

Anyway, Ted Drew's had concretes long before DQ ever thought of a Blizzard. Vanilla cstard ice cream with add ins, always served with a turn of the cup upside down and no, nothing ever fell out.

This place is just a little custard stand along a city street. Well, little in my day but they have expanded since. There are 15 counter spots across the front and every one of them is at least 12 deep with people waiting to be served. They have a policeman directing traffic. When we were in B-school, we used to try to calculate the profit per minute. This little stand makes BIG $$$$.  Here's another image that gives you a sense of the crowd. And this wasn't a special occasion, just any summer week night in St Louis.

Our last delicatessan came from Bush Stadium. Nothing is finer than a baseball hot dog...the skinny ones with mustard, onions, relish and ketchup. OH Yeah! And an "ice cold beer, HERE".