Monday, September 6, 2010


Color by COLOURlovers

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Dad

Jimmy Carter 1976oo.jpg, originally uploaded by oregonianphoto.

This is a picture of my dad. I've never met him or seen a picture of his face before (this is only the second of two pictures I've seen, both of which were from the back where he was painting a sign). I did talk on the phone with him about 10 years ago. Very strange to keep finding partial pictures of a man that supposedly contributed 50% of my genetic makeup. He is the man with no face.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I bought this a couple weeks ago.  I love it.  I saw so many people on these when I was in Europe, I was inspired.  I don't have a very long commute anymore, so I thought it was a natural transition.  Unless its snowing out or the weather is really inhospitable, why not just tool around town on this little thing.  Its got great storage - it can fit the entire helmet under the seat and can go up to 40mph.  More later....


Some I saw in Italy:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Around The World And Back Again

Wow.  It feels like an eternity since I last posted anything.  I have been around the world and I guess it's understandable.  But this is long overdue.

When asked, it's hard to tell people about my trip to Italy and Greece.  It was so mind-blowingly amazing, I have difficulty putting it into words.  I learned that I'm not a very organized traveler - at least not now.  Maybe if I travelled more, I'd be better at it.  For example, I would sometimes forget my camera or forget to carry extra batteries.  My pics are missing at least two major portions of the trip the first part of Rome and the whole tour of Pompeii just to name a few (I was so bummed!)  I lost my shower  bag and had to buy all new products.  I was able to sort out what I needed at a local grocery store in Athens to replace it, but one or two items were a gamble.  For example, what I thought was face wash turned out to be eye make-up remover.  Luckily I hadn't put it on my face before making that discovery.   

We started out in Italy.  It was very hot and humid.  We wandered around Rome, the Vatican City and the Colosseum.  The people, culture and architecture were beautiful.  The drivers were nuts.  One fellow traveler said if she had to drive in Rome, she'd still be sitting at the first stop light we saw the day before waiting for someone to let her in.  That probably wouldn't be me.  I am an assertive driver although I would still be nervous.  Mopeds are everywhere (there are probably as many mopeds as there are cars) and vehicles weave in and out of traffic, cutting people off, honking.  We saw Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento and Positano.  I know I'm leaving places out, but can't remember them all.  One of my favorite hotels of the whole trip is there, the Grand Hotel La Medusa.  You will not be disappointed if you make a visit there.  The surrounding area is not the best, but the hotel is central to many activities and places to visit.  And even if you decided to just stay at the hotel, the grounds are beautiful, the pool crystal clear, the food to die for and the staff are warm, charming and professional.  ok, I didn't mean to turn this paragraph into an ad for that hotel, but I guess we can call it what it is (an ad!).  We also had a wonderful dinner at a family run restaurant on a lemon farm (lemons are everywhere here which stands to reason since one of the famous local products is their limoncello, a popular lemon liqueur). 

We then took an overnight ferry from Brindisi, Italy to Patras, Greece.   The temperature had been (and continued to be) around 110 degrees each day.  When I do manage to say a bit about our trip to people, I joke that I looked like a shipwreck survivor in most my pictures - all sunburned, windblown, no make-up and glassy-eyed.  But in that sort of heat, nobody really cared - most of us just wanted to be comfortable.  Olympia, Delphi and Athens were wonderful too.  Aside from the La Medusa hotel and dinner at the lemon farm in Italy, my favorite part of the trip was our last day in Athens.  We had the most free time that day and got a chance to strike out on our own for a while.  We took a cab to the Plaka to do some shopping.  The shop owners were so kind and inviting and while, yes, they were very assertive, they were also usually very respectful and knew when to stop.  For example, a woman spent almost an hour trying to help my daughter find a dress and after all that time, my daughter decided against buying anything and we left.  Later that day we passed the same shop and the lady came out to see what we had bought.  At first I thought she was a bit miffed that we hadn't bought anything from her, but as we spoke with her longer, I sensed nothing of the sort - just genuine curiosity about our purchases and friendliness.  We had difficulty hailing a cab to get home (public transportation was on strike that day) and one restaurant owner suggested we wait under the mist dispensers they had hanging outside to cool off the patrons, even knowing we probably wouldn't be buying anything.  I just really, really enjoyed getting to know these wonderful people.  Obviously I'm not saying there aren't rough or dangerous areas in the places we visited.  In fact, most of the five star hotels we stayed in were in rough areas and we were warned to be smart about the types of bags we carried and to be aware of who and what was around us to keep from getting pick-pocketed.  But for the conscientious traveler with a fair share of common sense, most would do just fine. 

All in all, it was a GREAT vacation!  And very memorable for my 16 year old daughter who earned the trip by following through on a promise she made at 13 to stay away from boys until she was 16.  Way to go, girlie!! 

By the way, I saw windmills all over Italy.  But that's for a later post.....  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Europe or BUST!!!

My daughter and I are getting closer and closer to our trip and its finally beginning to seem real.  It is my second time to Europe, but to a completely different part this time.  And I get to share it with my 16 year old.  Taking a trip like this seems sort of extravagant, especially considering how financially rough it is for a lot of people right now, but this is more than just a splurge.  This started a few years ago actually.  A colleague of my husband's suggested we bribe our daughters to stay away from boys for a predetermined length of time by offering them a trip to wherever they want to go at the end of such time period.  It seemed a bit far-fetched to expect a teenager to stay away from the opposite sex that long, but we thought we'd give it a try anyway.  At the time, our oldest already had a boyfriend and had missed the opportunity to participate, but we made this offer to the remaining two daughters.  One declined and one took us up on it.  The one that decided to try it was 13 at the time.  We agreed that she wouldn't go out on dates or see boys until she turned 16.  To this day, there has never been any indication that she ever broke that promise.  She then chose Greece and Italy as the destination(s) for this strip.  And that's where we're going.  Failing to follow through on a promise of this magnitude is NOT an option, regardless of circumstance.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clean Renewable Energy

I just got home after a couple of days in Lewiston.  The drive is about five and a half hours from the Idaho/Washington border, across farmland, the Columbia river, Snoqualmie Pass and into Puget Sound.  The last couple times I made this trip, I noticed that more and more of the wind turbines were popping up everywhere on the nearby hills along I-90, just west of the Columbia river.  I've always been fascinated by them.  Initially, it was mostly their looks - white, sleek columns towering into the sky, elegant and willowy.  I've always liked their purpose and what they stood for - mining clean, renewable energy resulting in a more evolved and sustainable future for us and our planet.  That gives me hope.