Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Piano Guys

Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas w/ 32 fingers and 8 thumbs)

This is so cool!
I hope it is the first of many Christmas videos that come my way this year.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today is 11-12-13. I love when the month, day and year align in some interesting way. Seems like a celebration is in order even if rather ordinary.

So today I am celebrating...
  • that Drew is here from Amsterdam
  • the house is clean
  • taxes are paid
  • my errands are finished
  • it's not raining
  • and there will time left for the studio.
And just so you have something to look at, here is a picture from our recent and glorious fall and a reminder of just why I play golf.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Voices: Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame was the speaker at Voices on Wednesday. WOW! is the word that comes to mind. I loved her voice, her ability to tell a story and her thoughts on just where ideas really come from.

She spoke about the creative process through numerous stories. The first one told was a story her Brazilian husband told her about a corporation who wanted to build a highway through the Amazon. They started the work and then the rainy season required a halt. When they returned to work again, everything they had done had been completely absorbed by the jungle. There was no sign that anything had ever been there. She thought this had the makings of a book and so developed the story line and characters, applied for funding with her publisher and it was accepted. Then life got in the way and the book was put on hold. When she returned to it, the story was gone. She could not bring it back. Some time later she met Ann Patchett, whom she had always admired. They became good friends, sharing their friendship through letter writing. They had another visit with Ann telling Liz about a book she was working on about the Amazon. Liz conveyed that she had started a similar story but the idea had moved on. Ann asked her to tell her story. In the end, Ann's story was almost identical in theme and character to the idea that Liz had originally. Ann's book has been published and is State of Wonder.

From this, Liz suggests that ideas are not really ours. Rather, they are in the universe looking for a vessel, someone who will act on them. If you do not act on them when they present themselves, then they will move on and look for someone who will. I am sure that I am not doing justice to her ideas but listen to this Ted Talk by Elizabeth. It is good.

She closed with the idea that people often tell you to follow your passion however, many people don't know their passion. She suggests that we follow our curiosities.

What a lovely way to spend and evening.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Portland Center Stage: Fiddler on the Roof

One of my favorite musicals of all time, Fiddler on the Roof, continues to make me laugh, cry, dance and wonder. Tradition is set aside but not lightly. "One the one hand, you can see in her face how she loves him...but on the other hand, a father makes the match". Tradition.

The PCS rendition did not disappoint.

 Tevye, played by David Studwell, was superb. What a voice! Such joy in the singing.

One thing that I always watch for when at a stage show is how the stage sets are accomplished. PCS is truly amazing in this regard. From the image below you can see a rough wooden back drop that was the back half of an elliptical shaped wall. It was made of a series of panels. These were opened and closed to give the effect of  being inside a home, a saloon, the wide open air or a series of houses in the village. The lighting on the wall behind was manipulated to help with the scene. Simple but oh so effective.

If you have never been, you should try a show at Portland Center Stage and see for yourself just how wonderful live stage presentations really are. Love 'em.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christopher Columbus

The Cathedral of Seville is immense, being the largest Gothic church in Europe. And, third behind St Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London. Unlike in Cordoba, this cathedral was built on the site of the Almohad mosque. All that remains is La Giralda, the mosque's original bell tower. Christopher Colombus is buried here. This is his tomb.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Seville and Flamenco

Some of the best flamenco happens in Seville. We were able to see a demonstration of the dance, which included the dresses and all of the accessories a dancer uses. Such things as combs, earrings, hair flowers and scarves, which are often passed from mother to daughter. Spanish dance is known for bright shiny dress, always shiny. Music is as important to the flamenco as is the dancer. A drummer keeps the beat (11-13 beats per measure). The male dancers legs seemed to vibrate, they moved so fast. Castanets replicate hand claps in the beat.

In the evening we were able to attend a flamenco dance show. This was truly a treat for all of us.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cordoba y La Mezquita

Cordoba is known for this crowning Muslim landmark. The building is the size of three football fields. I am sorry for that description, but it does give size. It is a forest of marble pillars and red and white arches as impressive as any of the gothic churches of Europe. When Fernando III conquered Cordoba in 1236, he left the mosque intact. A 16th century archbishop constructed a cathedral inside. We are lucky this remains as it is truly magnificent.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Museo Nacional del Prado

On our last day in Madrid, we visited the Prado, the finest art museum in Spain. We toured the works of three Spanish painters: Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Goya and El Greco, who was born in Greece but claimed Toledo, Spain as his home. No photos allowed so google them if you wish.

Alongside this museum runs a beautiful boulevard called the Paseo del Prado. Wide streets with a wide walk down the center made for a respite from the sun. Portland sure could learn a thing or two about delightful walking streets from the Spanish.

I managed to capture some fun street art though.

Palacio Real

Building started near 1734 and was completed in 1764 while Felipe V was ruler. His son, Carlos III, was the first to inhabit this palace. No photos were allowed so I cannot convey the beauty of this palace. The grand staircase while quite large was easy to ascend as the steps were broad half steps. There were many wonderful and opulent rooms including the Throne room where the king and Queen held court. A fascinating side excursion was to the Armory where all of the shields, swords and body armory are displayed. Across the street is the Kings Cathedral. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Madrid At-Lasta

We arrived in Madrid, found our luggage and then our transporter found us. YEAH! He was from Mexico and followed the love of his life to Spain. Good for us his English was good and he gave us an introduction to the topology of Madrid on our ride to the hotel.

We arrived at the Hotel Melia Galgos at around noon. We were exhausted and they were ready for us, letting us check in early. We adopted the culture immediately by taking our first siesta. Life IS good!

Later we strolled down the Calle de Serrano, the hottest shopping district in the city. Window shopping was fun. Merchandising is certainly different which makes it more interesting.

Ending in the Parque de Bueno Retiro, we watched a lot of street vendors including mimes, musicians vendors and puppeteers entertaining children and, well, us.

After, we headed past the Museo de Prada toward Plaza St. Ana to enjoy drinks and tapas, small plates of food, and people watching. Caite's recommendation was a restaurant called Lateral. It was a nice finish to a very long day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hurry Up So We Can Wait

Up at 5am and out the door by 5:30 with a message from United stating the plane was delayed but we still needed to be there at the regularly scheduled hour. Oh too bad, the pilots got in late and need to rest. Don't get me wrong I'm glad they are but ME TOO. Sleeping until 7:30 sounds really good right now. Our plane now leaves at 11:am. We've been here awhile. I guess it guarantees that we will sleep on the plane. Good thing we had a 6 hour lay over in New York.

The Backsplash is Nice-a

It needs to be sealed and the switch plates added but I love the dark top with the creamy travertine tiles juxtaposed with the white cabinets. We are getting close.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Sporting New Counter Tops

I chose a quartz product, Zodiaq brand and chestnut is the color and pattern. The sink is granite. It was recommended by several people. The faucet is a HansGrohe Allegro E. It looks like a piece of sculpture. I will get a close up for you to see and post it in a few days. This brand appealed to me because the housing for the pull down element is magnetized so it should never droop. YEAH!

Here they are.

When the painters come, the island will be painted a chocolate brown.

My back splash is being installed now so in a day or two, I will post photos. It is looking fab.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Chihuly Garden and Glass

A trip to Seattle yesterday to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum at the Seattle Center was in the cards. WHOA! Talk about eye candy. Here are a few images.

The first is the Sonic Blooms, designed by Seattle based artist  Dan Carson. These blooms are solar powered which provide enough powere to set them to glow in the evening ans sing during the day. They are pure delight.

So that you get a sense of their size, here is another view.

And then there was the Glasshouse . An asymmetrical room with an amazing Sculpture of glass flowers in reds, oranges and yellows floating near the ceiling and a completely open floor.

Here is the Glasshouse from the ouside.

Standing outside the Glasshouse, close to and slightly below the yellow glass explosion, looking upward at the Space Needle. Cool, don't you think?

You gotta love this capture. Do you see the reflection of the Space Needle and the glass house in this blue orb. Another way cool...

You need to see this for yourself.

Starting NOW

The demo team came today and removed the guts of our kitchen.
Sink, stove top, counter tops and back splash all gone.
 It does make the search easy for anything in the drawers.:)

The rest of the project plan is to have all of the interior white, ie, woodwork and cabinets, painted so the kitchen mini redo is leading up to that. The island will be painted a chocolate brown. The periphery will remain white. The new counter tops will be a quartz product, the color chestnut. The shiny gold knobs will be replaced as well.

Now the wait for the new kitchen countertop.

Friday, August 23, 2013

That's My Boy

This is Drew bungy-jumping in the Alps. Scares me to death just thinking about it. Never ever tell me this will happen before it does.

But oh so beautiful. If only I had your courage.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life is a Project

Why is it that a tiny need morphs into a much larger event.
The kitchen is our current happening.

I needed a new sink and faucet in the worst way. The current model was a drop in sink.
Don't you hate the staining that regularly happens to the grout. I so wanted an undermount.

Our kitchen is almost entirely white. Yes, I am aware there is a "white" movement in the mind of some decorators but the absence of color is not good for me.

So here it is on Day -1 to give you some idea of our starting point.
No those are not shelves in the top of the cabinets. We have removed the drawers to ready for the counter top removal. Stay tuned folks.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Tree People

What do you do when the Trout Creek tree people watch?

Laugh at the humor of it all and capture the moment.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Tooling Around

A few years back, I purchased some Cutco knives, which I dearly love. The handles are ergonomic and made from a very hard plastic so they can go in the dishwasher for better cleaning; the blades are very sharp and rarely need to be sharpened. They also have some other things that work quite well. Last week, while making chopped salad, I saw the pizza cutter which looks like the rotary cutter used in quilting. It was an a-ha moment. This is what I did with it. Finely chopped cucumber in a matter of seconds. It worked on green onions also. Not so well on tomatoes. I am now on the lookout for other candidates. It's nice to try new things.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Tomato in July

Do you believe it. I picked my first tomato.

Generally, tomatoes show up in late September around here. The early May sunshine and warm temps kicked them into high gear. It' so pretty, I almost don't want to eat it but then again, fresh chopped basil and olive oil. Oh my!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Walk in the Park

The Sisters Quilt Show planners held the special exhibits over to Sunday. What a gift to those of us who were hot and tired on Saturday. My favorite exhibit was at Five pines Conference Center. The Modern Quilt Guilds were featured. The quilts were hung from clothes lines stretched between trees. A wander among wild flowers and across the creek made the exhibit complete.

What makes a quilt "modern"?

Deconstructed Nine Patch by Jacquie Gering

 I Don't Wear Blue by Cinzia Allocca Allocca

A Very Long Conversation by Rossie Hutchinson

Modern quilters tend to 
  • use solid colors which gives the quilt a more graphic look.
  • use large blocks of a single fabric
  • use lots of linear quilting
  • use white space
I personally love the look of these and their titles. Totally fun, they are. But what I like best is that an entire new generation of women are doing what I love to do and that is awesome! Maybe what really makes it modern is the artists don't have grey hair:)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sisters Visit Brother in Sisters

The second Saturday in July, always... the Sisters. OR outdoor quilt show.
This year, my sister and friend, came from Kansas City to see the show.
We stayed with my brother who definately has a room with a view. That's the north Sister.

Up early on Saturday morning, we arrive long before the show officially opens. Why?
  • it's the coolest part of the day.
  • it's fun to watch the hanging of the show.
  • the parking is easiest.
  • the coffee lines are the shortest.
We parked near the Art Center only to find this sculpture. How fitting. How clever.

After coffee at Angelina's bakery, we headed over to the Stitchin' Post to watch some of the hanging.
Firemen from the area volunteer their time and ladders.

Then walk you must from one end of the town to the other and back again...until you are exhausted.
The weather was perfect, the quilts delightful. Inspiration abounds.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

All in a Days Work

Before I had even awakened and gotten out of bed yesterday, Rick had hit a hole in one. #2 at Witch Hollow.

I think this is his fifth but everyone of them is total joy, amazement, delight, surprise...all of the above. It means he buys the round of brews for his team mates, thank you very much. It means he gets his name in the paper. It means he gets some cash from the hole in one club. It means hole in one club members get a drink on the house, well sort of. It means he gets to write a big #1 on his score card for the hole. (Helps the score for sure.) And best of all, if only for one day, water walking seems really possibly.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Crossfit, Nike and Drew!

A few years ago, my son, Drew, asked me to help him with the header he was putting together for Crossfit training blog. He works for Nike and they have a number of amazing gyms on campus. Off we went for the photo shoot. What he didn't tell me was that the campus is also awesome. It was a beautiful spring Sunday and we had the place to ourselves. I captured loads of wonderful; images and compiled this photo collage to remember the day. 

And this...

These images tell his story. They capture him lifting, running, pulling up, Core Performance, his work group, some of his shoe models, Nike athletes, including Brandon Roy, International flags and the large G for Girl Effect. Look that one up.

Hey, Drew, what do you think of this one?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The People's Republic of Portland

On Friday evening, we managed two things. First, we ate dinner at the Deschutes Brewery. They were featuring a new beer. The ads said "fresh squeezed". The beer had a citrus flavor which was very good. My son would approve. The evening was gorgeous which makes street seating so exceptional this time of year. There were a few who grabbed plastic milk crates stashed along side the building, dragged them to the street and had their own impromptu street party. Rick ordered the beer. I had wine. Is that even allowed in a brewery? My bad.

We chose this particular place because our next destination was Portland Center Stage which is just around the corner. I love PCS. I've seen a lot of productions there. Some I've been familiar with, others not so much but I can say, I have never been disappointed. The People's Republic of Portland was all this. Lauren Weedman "She's from LA" is the playwright and only actor. She is laughter on her feet as she pokes fun at our institutions, citizens and way of life. She leaves nothing unturned. Not bikes, Voodoo doughnuts, strip joints, eating out, hanging out, the MAX, umbrellas or not and the rain. The list is longer and her portrayal funnier. She is the quintessential storyteller.

This ever popular play has been held over because the house is packed most nights. I got the sense that there were repeat viewers. Perhaps we all like to laugh at ourselves and Rose City residents know first hand that there is so much to laugh about and this light heartedness makes us glad we live here. Go see for yourself.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Best Thing Since Sliced...

A few weeks ago, I got wind of a new trend. This one happens to be healthy.  Have you heard of Mason Jar Salads? The concept is to make salad for the week when you bring those veggies home from the market and store them individually in Mason jars. I had to try this and I am sold.

Here's the deal. Buy your favorite salad fixings. Wash them in one part vinegar to 10 parts water. That is suppose to clean them up and kill any miniscule things you don't really want. Line the jars up. I bought quart size jars with wide mouth openings. 12 for $10 or so. Chop the wettest veggies first. Generally the tomatoes, next cucmbers, then celery, then carrots or radishes and green onions. Finally top off with chopped lettuce. Push the lettuce down a bit to pack it in. Place the lid and then store in the fridege.

I usually add spinach to the mix when I put the salad in a bowl for serving. Spinach doesn't chop to well. It has  tendency to wilt. If you are taking these to work, you can add dressing first so that it stays in the bottom of the jar and then shake to mix it at serving time.

Obviously, you can add meat or egg or whatever other veggies you like best. Just put the wettest ones in the bottom. This stays amazingly fresh. Mason jar seals or really good.

I love salad but making one everyday is a pain. I always have good intentions and then at the end of the week I find this runny stuff still in bags in the fridge. What a waste of cash.  Making salad once and storing it in separate containers fits my bill. For more info or other ideas, just Google Mason jar Salads. An amazing number will pop up.

Have fun and good eating!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who have mothered someone or something. That is a broad definition, I know. That definition is also good. Mothering someone or something is worthwhile. If you haven't mothered then mentor. We mothers like to share. Life is good!

My view today...Amen!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

I may not be Hispanic, but I am a believer.
So looking forward to a margarita and quesadillas this eve.

A story from a Cinco de Mayo celebration a few years back...

Today is the Cinco de Mayo half marathon except it is on Once de Mayo and Mother's Day to boot. A rainy day in Portland but would you expect anything else. I am the designated driver and stuff-holder. Here is this fit young man posing for the photographer at the start of it all. He’s got the Portland Spirit.

One of the benefits of running this race is the promise of a couple of beers at the end. Drew left his ID at home. They wouldn’t serve him. I grabbed his race placard and went to the oldest person taking tickets, showed her “my” race number and started to pass through the line. She looked at me quizzically and asked if I had run in the race. I replied “Doesn’t it look like I did?” Me in my jeans and birkenstocks. Who argues with a 60 year old woman? Not a 70 year old that’s for sure. One benefit of aging. PS The beer was good and cold even if it was 9AM