Monday, August 31, 2009

I want a Viceroy kit house!



Wow! My sissy K and her hubby's retirement haven is all the way to this stage since I last posted about the delivery.  All this since August 13th and the work crew consists of the "kit boss"-Randy 52, brother-in-law Ken 6?, brother-in-law Lloyd 6? and brother Chuck 60.  My nephew Jared was enjoying a sailboat vacation with his best mate Genevieve, but took a day or two to be a member of the house crew.
Oh!  And those big front windows?  They look out over the Hood Canal.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Being Still

The two of us have accomplished most of the tasks we said out loud to each other (except for the trip to the sticky church of bottle deposits), but mostly we've been pretty laid back today.  This new-to-us dog needs walking and holding, ya know. 
Although, I've just had a sudden urge . . . I wonder if we have the ingredients to make the chocolate pudding pie with a graham cracker crust from Best Recipe?  We'll be sure and eat a light dinner and maybe even go on a second dog walk.  That makes it alright, doesn't it?

(the pic linked recipe doesn't specify graham cracker crust, but it's my preference)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hope--day 4

N and I can't help but notice that Hope has been spending a lot of time scratching.  I started putting balm on her crusty little bumps (thinking they're the result of the scratching).  We thought maybe it was nerves (since she is a bit timid) or allergies (schnauzers get their share of those), but we took her to the vet today just in case.  Plus we need to get her all boostered and certificated for her dog license. 
The vet wasn't crazy about the state of her ears, her skin or her teeth.  Yup, we know, taking good care of animals is not cheap.  So, in the end we chipped in for their "wellness & dental plan".  At this rate, we probably will save money by spending money up front.
So we came home with two shampoos (one to clean, one to medicate), a skin antibiotic and a sheet of directions, in case we step into the house and can't remember what the vet said. 
There's no training in life for bathing a slippery, struggling, schnauzer . . .

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ecological apple (experimental short) by Andreas Soderberg

More Hope: Day 2 - a little bit better

From Drop Box
Hope ended up having two good walks on Thursday.  The first due to me being worried about leaving her alone for the first time while N and I went to our first counseling appointment (we decided it's time to ask for help dealing with the extra stress) and the second because Lise wanted to share the new-to-her trail near her apartment.  Hope is such a good companion on walks!  Unlike Izzy, she stays mostly at my side and doesn't tug or pull at all.  No offense Izzy, but this is a bit easier on my arms and shoulders. 

We have noticed that Hope is itching--a lot.  She's mainly scratching her belly area.  I'm trying to stay on top of it by applying balm to all of her dry and red areas.  I don't know if it's nerves or the dry skin Schnauzers sometimes suffer from, that's caused by either flea bites or an allergy to something in their diet.  I should take her to the vet anyway.  Guess I'll give them a call on Friday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Adopting Hope or never say never


But first a little family dog history:

It was either 1993 or 1994, when N and I made the decision to adopt Gretel, a Miniature Schnauzer. Originally, she had been owned (for her first year) by a teacher who ended up divorcing her husband and moving to an apartment that didn't accept dogs. Another teacher (I worked with at the time), adopted her and that's where N and I first met her. We'd been invited over for a barbecue and before I knew it, there was N down on his hands and knees playing with their Golden Retriever and Gretel.   : -)
On the drive home, we began to talk about how a smaller dog on a city lot would make more sense than a Golden Retriever. Talking out loud about getting another dog was a big step for the two of us. When I first met N, he was raising a Golden Retriever puppy named Shiloh. After moving her for the third time to yet another small yard (this time in Tillamook), we realized how hard it was on a big dog not to have an acre to run and explore on--out of boredom she had begun to gnaw one of her front paws until it was raw. After 12 years of companionship and tail wagging loyalty, Shiloh suffered two strokes near the end of our 6 years in Roseburg. We nursed her through the first one, seeing improvement in balance and the ability to walk each day, but when the second one hit just a week later we knew it was time to forget ourselves and do the compassionate thing for our beloved friend.

Just one year after meeting Gretel and 2 years after losing Shiloh, we experienced unexpected joy to discover that my teacher thought of us when they decided they could no longer give Gretel the kind of attention she needed. It took several days for Gretel to realize this was her new home, but once she bonded to us we knew we'd made the right decision. What a sweet companion! About 8 years later, we discovered that Gretel had been born with a life shortening heart defect. I was glad that even though the girls were older, we were all at Gretel's side when she passed away.
After that heartbreak, N and I decided not to get another dog, but what we didn't plan on was how much we've been enjoying helping Fran raise her puppy, Izzy. Which is probably why I've been scanning Kathi's Schnauzer site every week, trying to deal with this puppy-itis. Then a few days ago I discovered Kathi had to make a tough decision to adopt out her 5 year old female, Hope. She's produced some beautiful puppies for her, but lately has been picked on by two new females.While I'm sad for Kathi, I'm excited to have this sweet dog for our own.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tomato, mozzarella and basil in a salad? Perfect!

I made this for dinner Monday night, but substituted orzo for the couscous. So good!
But I can rarely resist that combination. :>)

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Couscous Salad



Part-skim mozzarella cheese can be substituted.


2 cups diced tomato
3/4 cup (3 ounces) diced fresh mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Basil leaves (optional)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool. Add couscous and fresh basil to tomato mixture; toss gently. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.



Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

CALORIES 186 (29% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 2.5g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 13mg; CALCIUM 99mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.5g; SODIUM 308mg; PROTEIN 7.9g; FIBER 2.1g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2000



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A blast from the past

Friend Shirley and I took a drive down to Eugene to meet up with a friend who lives in Roseburg this past Sunday. Whenever I spend time with Shirley I feel like I've had this invigorating therapeutic session and I leave her feeling rejuvenated, so this drive was a double treat. The other being a long catching up and fun talk-a-thon with a friend we shared years ago.
I met Sherry when Lise was enrolled in one of the small, local, private (none provided yet by the school district) kindergartens. Play dates were set-up for the girls, then soon it was get togethers over coffee or iced tea for the grown-ups and then eventually we were at each others' houses all of the time. We did scouts, bowled, played cards, harvested, volunteered, hung out together and watched each others' children grow-up over the 6 years we lived there.
As N and I planned our move and eventually pulled out of the driveway following along behind the big moving truck, Sherry and I promised one another to stay in touch, planning to meet up on a regular basis in Eugene. We did pretty well for the first year or two, but then as the girls (and N&I) became more involved in different activities it became more difficult to find an open weekend. Years began to pass between visits.
This particular visit came about due to a missed opportunity, a wedding invitation lost in the mail and no one realizing what had happened until it was too late. Arrangements were made to make up the lost visit, although it was a struggle to justify the time away from responsibilities. Finally the date was set and a meeting place was chosen. The location had to be big enough not to mind 3 old women sitting for hours, drinking iced tea and laughing and talking. BJ's fit the criteria and didn't disappoint. They kept our glasses full and never made us feel like we were in the way.
BUT the wonderful thing about getting together with old friends, as Shirley reminded us, is that it feels like no time has passed in between the last visit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Carolyn Hax moment

I trimmed the bit below from a longer Carolyn Hax advice column. I thought this applies daily to all of us, but the entire column is worth reading.

The result you're going for is to stop placing yourself at the center of everyone's every gesture, be it a positive, negative or even neutral one. Your flak filter, ideally, will be set to catch only the stuff that really is about something you said, did or just are. The rest -- other people's issues, bad moods, biases, mistakes and anything else you happen to stumble across -- is the stuff you simply let pass.

Temporary Return of Naked Fridays?

Is it a common occurrence for youngest siblings to want to shock and amuse their elders? I don't remember being that way so much when I was a youngster, but I've definitely fit into that role later in life.

Once N and I had achieved and begun to enjoy "empty nest" status (before Fran's chronic pain situation), I coined a term for our Fridays. A term that would leave no doubt that this evening was reserved for just the two of us--"Naked Friday" (don't google that, by the way. I'm just saying ...). After the initial shock, squirming in seats and disgust, I did have a lot of splaining to do, especially with my co-workers. I guess I believe in providing the occasional shock and amusement at work, too.

And so, with Fran in Ashland with Jonathon and Lise and J spending their first night in their apartment, there N and I were again . . . alone . . . together, and even though the calendar said it was Sunday, in my book it was a brief return of Naked Friday. :>)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Get 'er done!

We were all up, showered, fed and out of the house by 8:30 AM yesterday.
Motivated for the move!
By the time we arrived with the rental truck, the Vancouver pod storage place that Lise and J had their stuff shipped to last year, didn't have their pods out of the warehouse yet. N and I saw a window of opportunity to hop back into the pick-up, dart back around the corner to the Bi Mart to use their rest rooms and pick up some snacks to keep us all fueled.
Progress had been made in our brief absence. The pods were out and opened with two of the three doors propped wide open. Since J had decided to do mathematical calculations (using the dimensions of the pods as his guide) in determining which size of truck to rent, N and I knew that we needed to proceed with care. Using all the packing skills acquired throughout the years of moving ourselves and others. So we began by removing and sorting all of the pod contents onto the asphalt before beginning to load. We finished (with just inches to spare and the electronics stashed in our pick-up) sometime around 12:30. Not bad!
We stopped for a quick bite to eat and then made our way south on I-5 back to Salem. N and I made a mercy trip home to let Nixon out of his crate. Poor old man! He was thrilled to see us and obediently crawled back into his crate after his wee break. Lise and J had both the windows of the apartment and the back of the truck opened by the time we joined them. We'd lost much of that go-get-em energy we'd had in the morning and the sun was beginning to heat things up a bit (although, so much cooler than earlier in the week!), but the worker ants began to make the trips back and forth, up and down the stairs.
After all the boxes and smaller items were unloaded, I kidnapped Lise and brought her into the kitchen to start the process of settling in. I've had both family and friends do this for me in the past and it makes the overwhelming process a little bit less so. I still remember friend Cheri Page taking the girls to spend the day at the Umpqua Valley Art Fair during our across the street move in Roseburg. What a gift!
Today, Lise and J borrowed the pick-up to go garage sale shopping to see if they can find what they need to fill some new needs. N and I are enjoying the quiet house and haven't decided what or if we'll accomplish anything today. :>)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Traveling North on I-5

When we lived in Roseburg 17 years ago, it was a common affair for the four of us to pile into the car and drive North to visit extended family.
This evening, on the drive back from taking Fran and Izzy to meet Jonathon in Roseburg, I was reminded of one of my favorite parts of that drive and my favorite time to see it: between the turn-off for Anlauf & Lorane and a few miles south of Cottage Grove; about an hour or less before sunset.
I love the tall, green, evergreen trees that cover the hills, crowded around that curvy stretch of interstate 5. As the last bit of sunlight slants across and turns the tops of those trees golden green--even better.

Wagon Ho!

Yay for all the planets and appointment books lining up so that Fran and Izzy get to head South to spend time with Jonathon!
Thursday the two of us (okay, 3 counting Izzy!) will load up the car and drive to meet him in Roseburg for the hand-off. N and I will miss them both, but it's time (way past time) that she was able to stay in Ashland with her guy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Art of Gratitude

Hoping everyone has a long list of things to be grateful/thankful for.
I'm thankful for N and all the thoughtful things he does for me everyday.

Something I was reading earlier today-

"These times of economic stress may seem like a black cloud over one’s head, but in truth we always have much to be thankful for.

Fini: finished; through; at an end

Okay, so maybe the waiting (both at home and in the waiting room) was almost as tough as the not eating part. Well, at least a close second. I couldn't concentrate on my book in the waiting room, so I tried to do my Zen thing by quietly sitting and gazing out the third story window at a tree's branches being tousled by the wind.

Once Janae escorted me into the back, put in my IV and asked some questions, there was more waiting. I could hear other people in adjoining cubicles going through the same routine. A weird feeling of being one of many prepped patients in a warehouse came over me (darned sci fi books anyway!). I don't know if they put something in that IV, but I began to feel more relaxed. Which is a good thing, because it was nearly another 20 minutes (definitely should move that clock) before Angie arrived to take me to the room where the procedure is performed. We chatted and waited. Once the doctor arrived, said hello and shook my hand, it was over in a few blinks of an eye. I thought I was awake, but realized later there were bits of time missing from my memory. I wasn't sure when they'd wheeled me and the gurney to the recovery area, for one thing.
After 10 minutes or so Angie put me in a wheelchair and took me out to the basement parking lot where N soon drove up with the car. After I was safely buckled into the passenger seat of the Fyundai, N said that the doctor "ordered" him to take me to Word of Mouth.
And that's where I had my first meal since Saturday.
What a guy and what a meal!
{song going through my head? "but all I've got is a photograph . . ."}

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is that a touch of autumn I feel in the morning?

This is the time of year that I'm in firm denial that summer vacation is nearly over and yet (to be perfectly honest) I'm almost ready for a change. Almost.

Right now, I'm discovering how many times a day I put something in my mouth to eat out of habit. I thought it was tough to do the 12 hour fast for bloodwork. Ha! That's nothing! I've heard for some time now how horrible it is to drink the 4 liters of Nulytely during the last half of the fast. It's not really that bad. I had visions of a thick liquid that triggered the gag reflex. Nope. It's reminds me of the taste when you follow a glass of milk with a glass of water and you forgot to rinse out all of the milk from your glass. Not that bad. Jonathon said that he's found the orange flavor to be the most palatable. He was off of all things lemon-lime for a long period of time after using that flavor.
Maybe tomorrow my focus will be on something else. Like food.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To help or not to help

I began my fast after dinner last night and hoped that everyone in the house would go out for breakfast, rather than making me suffer through some of my favorite smells.
No such luck.
Jonathon and N, picked up some special breakfast makings when they went shopping for their turkey burgers and coleslaw ingredients yesterday. Will I be good natured about this or an ornery little pill?
At least I can have my coffee. Without it I would definitely be sent to my room for behavior issues. ;>

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sneaky wine or backstabbing stomach

I had one of those rare nights last night where I'm fairly sure I only had 2 glasses of wine, but ended up being hit hard ("ouch!"especially this morning). Wish I had a clue as to why that happens. Not often, but even once a year is too much in my book.
N went to work, but I think Jon, Lise and I are slowly getting ready to head downtown to check things out. No firm plans, but I'm thinking I better put on my walking shoes. :>)
. . . but first I need to get Lise out of the tree


From Lise ina tree

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shopping Lists and random thoughts

When I sat down at the computer Thursday morning, I noticed both a printed recipe and a shopping list set out for me to see. Fran's way of letting me know she made cooking plans after we went to bed the night before. I tucked the list into my pocket and made a mental note to add a grocery stop to my errands.
I wondered what the occasion could be--Jonathon is back in Ashland. Later that afternoon, she told me he was driving back up to spend the weekend with us. Aha! I don't see any upcoming appointments on the calendar for her until September. I wonder if she's interested in joining him for a couple of weeks. If I was her I'd jump at the chance to escape with Lisa and James' upcoming move.
Escaping what will surely be additional stress would be a good thing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The house arrived!


This just in from sister Sue's iphone.
Sister Karen and her hubby Ken are building a home on the Hood Canal. Brother-in-law Lloyd is manning the forklift and brother-in-law Ken is on the truck.

Needing direction

Boy oh boy! A simple change in schedule and I'm a boat without a rudder!
N popped out of bed a little after 6 this morning, quickly prepped for work and said he had no time for breakfast,
"gotta go".
"Huh? What? Uh . . . bye! "
And now I'm sitting here (on my third cup of coffee) trying to get my bearings. Seems pretty silly. My urge is to head back to bed, do the "Groundhog's Day" thing--try starting over.

On another note . . . it was both interesting and frustrating watching how Izzy reacted to having people on her turf last night. The little pill was not nice at all to the two children. I forget about dogs and their "pack perspective". So odd that they believe children are lower in the pecking order in the hierarchy. Looking back, I wish I had put her in the back bedroom with Nixon.

{thinking about a 4th cup of coffee . . . }

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Businesses utilizing the internet

I had a technology conversation with an owner (?) of Copper Creek Mercantile in Keizer late yesterday morning. His hesitancy to fully embrace this new tech-age was evident as he talked about their recent upgrade to a new computer system. The first person they had hired 6 months ago to install their new computer system, was experienced enough to take them right up to configuration and set-up. From there on the tech continued even though he didn't really know what he was doing.

After 6 months of what sounded like tech misery, they found someone else with the know how. He came in and undid the damage, configured their system and has begun to complete the set-up to allow all employees to communicate with each other electronically and keep inventory--all in two days. Six months?! I can see how someone could become soured with modernizing their system under those circumstances.

I can't even remember how we began to talk about blogs. Maybe I mentioned belonging to a local blogging community. He said it's something that he's interested in, but isn't convinced that it has enough value compared to the effort. Plus, he's concerned about slanderous comments tainting his image in the community. I did my best to encourage, telling him that many local businesses have entered the blog world to communicate with customers. That he could choose whether to post once a week or once a day and to think of it as a seasonal conversation with the people who enter his store each day. And I assured him that he would be in control of what comments were published.

He likes the everyday human contact and I understand. He wouldn't be giving that away after all. He'll still have the opportunity carry your heavy bags out to your car and to carefully listen and advise about your pets or your pests. He's good at that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One of the things I love about the internet

My random thought trail this morning:

"I wonder how many yellow jackets are in the bee trap?"
"The berry pickers at the park are just beginning to show up."
"What could I make with blackberries?"
"I wonder if there's such a thing as blackberry salsa?"

And then of course I google "blackberry salsa".
Now?
Now I'm thinking I need to go get me some berries and make some.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cold Camping

While reading Dogs and Dragonflies this morning, I began to wonder how I could simplify the prep for weekend camping trips for whenever our lives return to normal. Too often I've (we've) left something important behind. Though there are the times when we didn't expect much colder than normal weather conditions, too.
The first cold camping trip I can remember was when brother Jim had recently graduated and received his teaching certificate from Willamette's Master's program. We're not usually big on joining the crowds on the big holidays, but this was a special occasion. So East is where we pointed the truck for Labor Day weekend.
The first forgotten item we discovered were long pants and heavy coats. Who knew we'd wake to ice on the dog dish?! Luckily N had packed 3 pairs of jeans and shared with the girls. They didn't care how big those jeans were! Then there was the missing hamburger for dinner. Brother Jim (who's always tried hard to be a vegetarian) had a box of instant no meat hamburger patty mix. We thought perhaps it would be a good substitute for the missing hamburger in the dinner recipe. That's when we discovered how much sodium is added to some of those mixes. Which didn't go well with one of my can opener camping recipes.
As we washed our salty dinner down with cup after cup of ice cold water, new neighbors pulled in next door. It was a group of young hikers from Germany. They needed help with a map (which we provided) and then proceeded to torture us with the lovely smells of bacon and onion wafting over to our campsite. I should add that they generously offered long pants to brother Jim.

The most recent unprepared camping trip, was last year with Jonathon's family at Diamond Lake. None of us had checked the weather report. If we had, I'm sure there would've been more than just big John who had a heavy coat! The day we arrived was warm enough to take a dip in the lake. Norm was tempted, but then the rest of the group began to pull in. I think it was the next day when the wind began to pick-up and the clouds rolled in. The temperature for the rest of the trip varied between 65 (maybe) and 35. I don't think it froze, but I could be wrong. N and I were very happy we had our tent trailer with it's furnace this time around. We did have long pants and peach brandy, but there's no substitute for a warm, winter coat. Although a dog in the lap can help!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Workaday Saturday


I don't even know what I was doing (probably messing around on the computer), but I didn't have a clue that N had taken everything out of the freezer, defrosted it, removed the door and was working on replacing the magnetic gasket (by the time I noticed). I'm happy to say that at least I WAS dressed and had already been out of the house twice. If I had still been in my PJs I would've felt like a total loser! And so the freezer looks amazing with room to spare and closes nice and tight like it used to in the old days. Too bad more appliances don't last as long these days (more than 30 years) as this one (knock on wood).
We can usually tell when either Jonathon will soon be arriving or leaving by the amount of cooking Fran engages in. As I prepped for bed last night, she had her cooking stool in position and asked me to retrieve her Kitchen Aide mixer along with a couple of pantry ingredients. She was getting ready to make pizza dough. Jonathon pulled in for a quick return visit (back from a friend's wedding in Florence) late this afternoon. He was just in time to help with the 4 pizzas; barbecue chicken with black beans, margherita, zucchini with riccotta and sausage with peppers. Delicious! Needless to say, we miss him when he's gone.

Friday, August 7, 2009

How do you make your coffee?


Several years ago, after making our yearly OPB donation, we received an unexpected thank you gift of Dancing Goats coffee in the mail. Just months before the coffee beans arrived in the mail, I had purchased a Bodum burr grinder (after a week of research of what was available in our price range). So who knows if it was the discovery of newly ground coffee or if I really was impressed with the flavor of the coffee, but I was smitten with their logo and legend. And so I continued to purchase their coffee through the mail for the following 3-4 years. The UPS man knew exactly what was in that box!

I tried out most of their blends and specials and gave bags of their coffee and even their coffee cups to family during the holidays. During a trip North, N and I made a point of visiting their coffee shop when we were in Olympia 2 summers ago. I was a full fledged Dancing Goats fan--without the t-shirt.

Then came the day when they raised their prices and eliminated their coffee club. My affection dimmed and began to wither. I started noticing the bags of freshly roasted coffee at Costco. It was impossible for me not to start calculating the savings per pound as well as the lack of shipping cost. Good-bye Dancing Goats, hello Seattle Mountain Coffee! I haven't looked back since . . . well, except for today when I followed a link from their most recent email and noticed they've improved the design on their t-shirt. Maybe I'll get that tee after all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Change is afoot

I do hope that Lise knows that no matter how excited I am for the two of them to move out, that I will miss being with her everyday. It's not because she's my offspring. I'd enjoy her friendship even if she wasn't related by blood. She's the kind of person who's easy to have around. She takes an interest in what's going on, lends a hand or an ear or an opinion, is always ready to join in on an activity, knows what's going on in the world, has a great attitude, enjoys trying new things--I could go on and on.

But our house is small (no family room, no basement, no den) and we only have one shower. Our excitement is understandable, isn't it? Plus N and I had a few years of empty nest. Years that seem like eons ago. We had just begun to stretch our wings a bit. At first it felt strange, the house was full for so many years. Full of the everyday habit of synchronizing four schedules, meeting deadlines and watching friends come and go. After the strangeness was over, I began to remember what our lives were like before we made the decision to raise a family. Lovely freedom! I can still remember getting cravings for Chinese food, hopping into the car at 7:30 or 8 PM and zipping down I-5 (we lived in SW Washington) to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Portland.

These are the small things I look forward to when they have their own place; Zuzu the cat won't have to live in fear of Nixon the dog, Izzy and Nixon won't have their daily bark-fest over real or imagined threats, our guest room will be open and I'll be able to use my treadmill again. Again, all small things, especially compared to the big comfort of Lise's company.

First Wednesday at Willamette Noodle

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Venturing out of the comfort zone

The person who has been tending our school's domain (not the district site) decided it was time to hand it off. They asked me if I was interested, "yes, but I'd like to edit it from blogger". Since I already know this can be done (but I'm clueless on the how) and I'm involved with blogs of my own, it made perfect sense to me. Not so for the other party. He's involved in his own tech business. He does free lance work that encompasses writing programs, doing graphics and animation. I made the assumption he'd know exactly what I was talking about. I forget there are all these pockets of expertise, when it comes to the web and computers (probably pockets within those pockets).
Once I find my way, I have a plan. I want to encourage and guide each of the teachers to set-up their own classroom blog and have them all linked up together. I didn't know if it would be okay with the district until I talked to another salemite who said their child's school has already entered the blogosphere. I'm excited and worried (giddy?) all at the same time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

For Shared Birthday, Obama Brings Cupcakes to Helen Thomas

I love this!

For Shared Birthday, Obama Brings Cupcakes to Helen Thomas

By Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 4:17 PM

President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing room Tuesday afternoon to deliver a paper plate full of cupcakes to honor the birthday he shares with veteran journalist Helen Thomas.

Obama, who is celebrating his 48th birthday, led the press corps in singing "Happy Birthday" to Thomas, who turned 89 today. He then delivered the cupcakes to Thomas and asked her to make a wish. "You gotta blow it out to make it come true," Obama instructed, before Thomas extinguished the one lit candle on the plate.

Obama then sat next to Thomas, a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, to pose for a picture. Before leaving, he told the assembled reporters that Thomas wished for "world peace, no prejudice -- but she and I also had a common birthday wish: she said she hoped for a real health care reform bill."

World Science Festival 2009 Bobby Ferin


World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Do we live in a small town?


It was almost noon when Lise and I slipped out of the house Sunday. She wanted to go hit a couple of wineries for both tastings and photos. Addresses were looked up and loaded onto Reggie-the- GPS. First stop? Trinity Vineyards.
As we were driving south on Liberty, I checked Reggie to see the name of our upcoming turn-off--Waln Road. So familiar to both of us. We made the turn, began the trek up the narrow paved road and then it hit us--school friends (sisters, also) of both Lise and Fran lived on this same road! The last time we had visited their house, ground had just been broken on the site where Trinity Vineyards now stands. From there we traveled backroads to Ankeny Hills on Riverside Road S. and finally to Vitae Springs Winery where we ran into a school and band mate of both of the girls.
Yup, we definitely live in a small town!

Ah nuts!

We've been regular customers of nutsonline for over a year. Fran has a couple of snacks she hates to be without (roasted fava beans and chocolate covered espresso beans), both of which can be purchased on their site in quality and quantities (5lb. bags) that are hard to find elsewhere. I don't understand why their shipping charge is so high, but it seems to be universal when it comes to similar products on the web. AND I've noticed this happens quite often on the web--either a higher product price or a higher shipping charge.
I'll continue to look for a better deal, but until then I'll stick with nutsonline.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What I'm reading tonight

Guest Voices on the Washington Post - Tools for Tolerance

Oh what a relief it is!

As I drove around running errands yesterday (except for my downtown errands where there wasn't a parking place to be had near Cascade Baking Co), I couldn't help but notice that there were fewer grumpy people out and about--me included. It reminded me of a sunny day in the Willamette Valley after a week of rain.
We have a two tower fans and 3 window fans we use when it gets above 80. We employ the open-the-house-as-soon-as-the-outside-temp-is-within-4-degrees-of-the-inside process. Then we crank up the fans until 9 AM or so and then close everything up. I just can't wrap my head around buying even a small portable air conditioner for 3-5 times a year. I may change my mind when I get older, who knows.
I'm not up on a soapbox about this. Our fan/window process works for us 98% of the time. I think I can live with the 2%.