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".


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Kettlecorn Guy

If your looking for some humor on a Saturday morning, go directly to the Farmers Market near the Safeway at the corner of Cornell and Murray. Look for Sweet Old Larry's Kettle corn. It comes in three sizes: Yum, Yumus Maximus and Yumus Gigundus! They only vary bu the amount of Yum you get. Larry will let you sample.

He's done scientific research on his product. This sign lets you know that "massive kettle corn consumption is a sign of superior intelligence" (per unsupervised studies conducted by good Old Larry himself).

After he pops the corn, it goes into this trough for cooling and salting. Yes it's a little sweet and a little salty just like Good Old Larry! We thought this trough would be a great serving dish for any wildly, wild party. 

I asked Larry if I could take pictures and tell this story on my blog since I love his humor. He said great and grabbed a couple of bags for the shot.

Larry always gets the last word! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Next summer Stop: Tahoe & Reno

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in America. Here is a shot of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island, which s probably the most photographed spot on the lake. I love this image.

We visited the Tallac Historic Site, walking the property, which is being restored to it's earlier times. One of the houses on the Pope property is called the Artists Cabin. Look at the rafters which are shaped like a tree. I loved this building. So cool!

These next two images are my favorite from the entire trip. The colors inspire me. Oh my!

The purpose of the trip was for Rick and Terry to play in a member-guest tournament at Montreaux Golf Club. But I got to do some golfing as well. Here are my partners in crime. Pat, Beachy and Mary Ann. Really nice ladies and really good golfers!

Check out that golf hole behind them. The vertical drop will kill you and the creek you have to clear is way out there. As my brothers likes to say "I only play golf in the 80s. If it gets hotter than that i just don't go. 

And saving the best for last, The Orr's managed to snag 4 tickets to the combined Doobie Brothers-Chicago concert. They played separately and then together. At one time there were 4 drummers, 4 guitars and 6 brass instruments on the stage. Perhaps I am showing my age, but it was fabulous sing along.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


What a blast!

Summer started yesterday. Just in time for the annual neighborhood/cul-de-sac potluck, bring your own B & C (bottle and chair) party. It is so much fun to catch up from a winter of indoor activities and see which kids have grown the most, are ready to begin school, are going to high school or college. My last graduated from college and I am feeling really old.

It's also fun to see who is officially old enough to light matches and who is now brave enough to light the fire works too. Definitely, not me.

Another tradition of mine is to put out my red, white and blue quilt. This is one of the first quilts I ever made. I hang it from my deck rail so that all the neighborhood walkers have something to look at as they pass by. Sort of my very own outdoor quilt show.

Rick and I close out the day by sitting on our deck, sipping wine and watching a spectacular FW display from a neighborhood just over.

Monday, September 10, 2012

About Town: Willamette Valley Wineries

Caite came home for her birthday in late June. One of the things that we have never done and so decided to do is go wine-ing. Since the Willamette Valley is known for its Pinot's and I am more of a white wine drinker, I agreed to be the designated driver. This also means that I got to take a lot of photos and what a drop dead gorgeous place to be for that.

Why do I like the underside of umbrellas, especially red ones? I will add this to my collection of similar images.

First stop was Dobbes. Red umbrellas, red chairs red wine...

Second stop was Erath. I loved these barrels. I found a lot of cute wine stuff. I bought some napkins that say "What's a nice girl like me doing without a drink in her hand?" I'm saving them for book group.

And then there is the rose bush on the end of every other row. I learned in New Zealand that rose bushes are attractive to the same types of insects that attack grape vines but the roses show the infestation earlier. So, they are used as an indicator of the health of the vines.

Our last stop was Barrel Fence Winery. The proprietor has a vineyard in New Zealand, as well, and features the Oregon and NZ wines side by side for tasting. Caite really enjoyed this after being introdcued to NZ wines when living in Dunedin, NZ.

Barrel Fence lead me to my favorite shot of the day. Simply breathtaking.....

Friday, September 07, 2012

Caps and Gowns!

This has been a summer of many small trips. The first, in June, was a huge celebration for Caite as she graduated from Santa Clara University. Actually, this was totally Caite's day. Ours was the day we made the last tuition payment. HOORAY!

It's hard to believe that our children are all out of school.

First up is the prep for the big day tomorrow. Ironing the grad gown is not an easy task. Too bad they have to stuff them in a tiny little package. Oops, maybe this is the first of several grad dresses.

Then on to the Baccalaureate.  (Thank God for spell check in blogger :) This was a beautifully choreographed Mass with music and dance in the finest Jesuit tradition. All readings were done by the graduating Seniors. Absolutely lovely!

Immediately following, SCU hosted a reception for grads and their families in the commons. This was a chance to connect with old friends as well. Julianne Brands and Caite have been friends since high school. It was good to visit with David and Julie.

Here is a shot of Caite and her room mates for the last 2 years. Amanda and Caite went to high school together as well. They are, left to right, Amanda, Lauren, Caite and Alyssa.

For the evening celebration, Caite and her roommates chose 71 St Peter Mediterranean Grill for they and their families to share dinner. It was a fun evening getting to know everyone's parents. They hail from Ohio, Pasadena and Portland. Nick drove up from Orange county to add to the good times. What fun!

Here we are as good looking as ever!