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!