Friday, August 31, 2007

A new friend

We met our newest friend last night, Emma Rathkey. She was born Monday morning to Michael, Kendra and Noah. Unbelievably, they hosted our weekly potluck dinner and community garden work party Thursday! Welcome to the group, little Emma :)

After some amazing food (it always is with these folks!!), we headed to the garden to harvest the bounty. Emily asked (via e-mail from Cairo) if we are swimming in tomatoes yet. Well, those are Brandon's feet sticking out from those tomato plants -- you be the judge! We picked six bags of green beans and some yellow zucchini that Brad says are big enough to make dugout canoes.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I need your support!

In a couple weeks, I will be joining with tens of thousands of others in the Portland Race for the Cure. My fund-raising goal is $250. Please click HERE if you'd like to donate -- any amount will help. THANKS!!!! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Books, books and more books

Still drowning in new textbooks, the THS library workers convinced their principal (and my 7th-grade English teacher!) to hire me for two more days this week. So I just finished my second subbing stint at Tigard High. There are still way too many books to process before students arrive next week, so I might just get a few more hours before it's all over. We'll see.......

A familar face

I was watching "The Today Show" yesterday morning when I saw an Oregon State University T-shirt in the crowd. I caught a glimpse the next time it peaked from behind the anchors, and it was Jan Kittelson - a long-time family friend. Talk about random!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Free is a very good price!

Ma called today -- she's digging out a spot for a pond and had a bunch of ajuga to unload on me, if I was willing. Let me think..... duh! She gave me, literally, a bucket full of the lettuce-like ground cover, along with a bunch of other goodies. I went straight home and got to work, adding the foliage to my woodland landscape.
Here are a couple bad photos of my backyard garden. I need to get some better ones to show off my free plants. WOOHOO!

The patient

Here he is, ol' Patchy

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Do cats like bananas?

Linus, our four-legged boy, had a mole-like thingy removed from his back this week. It had been there for a long time but recently took on a life of its own, and the vet said it should come off. They sent us home with a half-drugged (and very angry!) cat and a bag of medicine -- cherry-flavored pain killers and banana-flavored antibiotics.

Anyone who's squirted medicine down the throat of a cat knows that it's loads of fun -- regardless of the flavor. But add to that the artificial fruitiness and you've got one pissed off feline. Luckily, the doses are gone and he's healing just fine. But I'm calling him Patchy until all the hair grows back.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Since last we spoke, I've been busy working!

I spent Monday volunteering with the band again, then a couple days helping catalog new textbooks in the THS library (for money!) It was just two days of wage-earning work, but it felt great! We had fun and got a lot done. But you couldn't imagine what goes into cataloging a new textbook. Seriously. There are SO many steps, and they are really heavy - and dangerous! My triceps are killing me. I have a whole new appreciation for librarians, including my dear sis, Eryn.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


In the two months since I retired from the news biz, I've really come to love having time. It's often extremely overwhelming to work full time and balance family stuff and house stuff and friend stuff and church stuff and cat stuff and all the other stuff that comes with life (I know you all know what I mean). And I don't even want to know how people with kids do it - my hat goes off to you!

Now that I don't have a 9-5 obligation (it was more like 6-3), I have time to enjoy life instead of just cramming to get all the stuff done. I spent three full days this week volunteering with high school kids. I still had time for a leisurely lunch with my mom- and grandma-in-law. I had game night with my fam. I went to a family reunion picnic. I ate popcorn and watched "The Holiday" while snuggled with my cat. I hung around after church today. Then I had a long lunch with the in-laws and friends. Now I'm blogging while the chores are only half done (and I'm not even stressing about it!)

It's a true pleasure to be able to linger and not worry about getting to the next activity or duty.

I know this won't last forever. I will eventually re-enter the workforce and start collecting a paycheck. But until then, I am savoring having time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Family time

Last night, the fam came over for cheap pizza and game night. As often happens, we started talking about Newberg people (mom lived in Newberg, we all went to GFU, brad and i go to NFC, eryn plays music at NFC, mom occasionally plays with us, two sets of grandparents live at Friendsview) and how everyone's connected and who my folks knew in high school/college that we now know at NFC, etc, etc, etc, etc. The NFC directories came out and we had lots of fun figuring out who everyone was. (for example, I had no idea that Lori Tuning was a Beebe or that Mark Thompson went to school with my dad. They might know Wendy, too). We also took a trip to the Internet to see the naked butt slot machine to which Sherry Macy introduced me (click HERE to check it out) - LOVE IT! We finally stopped playing the Newberg game and played Apples to Apples. I won ;)

Today was spent at Ma and Pa's for their annual picnic. It was sunny, cloudy, windy, still, light, dark - but it never rained and it wasn't too chilly. We had a good time catching up with family we see once or a couple times a year and meeting new people. Of course, we ate a lot of yummy food!

Grandma and Grandpa made it out, too, a great surprise! Grandma said she had a rough morning, but she seemed to really enjoy the picnic (especially all the chocolate desserts!!) After so many years living so far away, it's cool to have them close.

Eryn with Grandma

Go Band!

I spent much of this week volunteering to help get the Tigard High School band area ready for school. With my mom's assistance, we organized, cleaned and moved around band "stuff" from several rooms. She paid me in lunches. I had a great week! I'm gifted with a talent for organizing, and I truly enjoy the work. It felt really good to put my skills to use to help the staff and the kids.

Band camp was going on at the same time, so I got a sneak-peek at this fall's competitive marching band show. After just a couple days, the band already looks and sounds pretty good - I think it's going to be a great season!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Goat Rocks/Old Snowy 7/24/07

After spending a day touring Rainier National Park, Liz and I headed out to Goat Rocks for a quick overnight backpacking trip and a run up Old Snowy. I’d heard a lot of people rave about Goat Rocks over the years, but had been dissuaded by the long drive.

Let me say, it’s definitely worth it! This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful wilderness areas I’ve ever been to. The landscape looks like some scene from a fantasy novel. Dramatic mountain ranges, a frozen lake with a huge cascading waterfall, open meadows with wildflowers and lazy mountain streams.
Since Old Snowy was our objective we camped at the the PCT/ Trail 96 intersection instead of continuing on to Goat Lake. The scramble up the N. side of Old Snowy turned out to be short and easy on solid rock. We traversed the ridge towards Ives Peak on our way back to camp and explored several gendarmes along the ridge. We ended up too short on time to make it all the way over to Ives Peak, but I guess that gives me another good excuse to go back! A short scree descent led back to the PCT and our camp.

Goodbyes Suck

We said goodbye to good friends last night. Brad and Emily are moving to Cairo in a couple days. It seems like we were just really getting to know them, and now they're packed up and leaving. B&E are good people - genuine, caring, funny. While we miss them already, we know they are following God's plan for their lives, and that's awesome.

Blessings to you in your travels and new lives in Egypt!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I went to the Valley Landscape Center today to pick up a few small flagstones to use as stepping stones in my ever-expanding garden. I found the bargain bin full of bits and pieces of their different flat stones for just 10 cents per pound. I pick out nine of the bigger pieces and hauled them home for just $1.80! I love a good deal!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Man, did it feel like fall yesterday! After a sunny morning, the clouds rolled in and a few sprinkles fell from the sky. The temp was cool.

I put on socks and my long-legged party pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I built a fire in the fireplace and sat in front of the flames while I watched the Seahawks beat the Chargers. WOW - fall :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bridge Pedal 2007!

Today is one of my favorite days of the whole year - Bridge Pedal day!! It's the one day when cars are inconvenienced while bicycles (I heard 20,000!!!) take over the streets (and bridges) of Portland.

Sean, Karen, Brad, Eryn and I loaded up the folks' truck and headed downtown before 7 a.m. to begin the 26-mile journey across eight of the city's spans. Here's us on the top deck of the Marquam Bridge:

I stopped for quite a while to listen to the bagpipe band on the top of the Fremont Bridge. We got separated, but Brad knew he would find me there - I LOVE bagpipes :)

Brad chomped on a union banana while we listened:

It was a good day! Next year, all 10 bridges.....

Conquering Fears

We went rock climbing with David Saturday at Broughton's Bluff at Lewis and Clark Park. We got there early enough that Giant's Staircase was open - the perfect place for beginners. Brad practiced perfecting harder moves, and I tried some new moves on the easier route - lots of good practice. David, who is very afraid of heights, did awesome and (I think) went a ways toward conquering some fears! On his first try, he made it about halfway up the rock. Second try, he made it a nearly to the anchor! YAY David! Next time, you're going all the way up!!!!! :)

Friday, August 10, 2007


I just got done watching the video slideshow tributes that I created for my great grandmothers' memorial services in 2004 and 2005. As I watched each, listening to the carefully chosen music and looking at the old photographs, I cried - because I miss my Nanas and because of all the great memories I have of them and my great grandfathers, Johnny and Papa. I don't think I know any other people who, in their adult lives, knew five great grandparents. I am so tremendously blessed.

Here is one of my favorite shots of Nana. I particularly like it because it's on Christmas Eve (always spent at Nana and Johnny's house) and because she's laughing - she had a great sense of humor, and we laughed together a lot.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with such wonderful grandparents and for keeping their memories alive in my heart and mind.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hilarious Hairspray!

My folks are headed to Colorado tomorrow for some baseball, so we did our Weekly Wednesday today... We saw "Hairspray" at Bridgeport Village and LOVED it! It was a great story, great music, great message. It was very funny - yet family friendly. And the costumes were terrific! I really want one of those dresses so I can twirl around :)

I definitely recommend this one for everyone!

Monday, August 6, 2007

More signs

Some signs just make me laugh. This one was near the top of a really big waterfall at Rainier National Park in Washington.

This one was near the summit of Old Snowy in nearby Goats Rocks Wilderness. We could see it from the bottom and assumed that it would tell us something really exciting when we got there. Hmmmmmm..... I figure it must have said something at some point. Right now, not too useful :)

Fun With Horsethieves

This weekend's adventure took us to Horsethief Butte near The Dalles for some rock climbing. I'd never been there, but Brad assured me that it was a great place with lots of beginner routes. It was a terrific spot! There were good routes for me (I've only gone a handful of times) and it was a comfortable environment (not on the edge of a cliff overhanging a raging river like one place we went!) with friendly people. It was very hot, but a strong wind kept us moderately comfortable. It was even better when we found a route in the shade!

Oh, and we did realize after being there some time that the shrubs all around our shady resting spot were likely poison oak. Fortunately, neither of us got the itchies :)

Part way through the day, we started smelling smoke and seeing the haze. On the drive home we tracked the billows to Hood River. We expected to see some hillside on fire - not the middle of the town. I'm glad all those people's homes were saved.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Timothy Lake

Last weekend was our annual Timothy Lake camping trip with friends. We had an excellent time with old friends and new friends, hanging out, hiking, chatting, reading, sleeping and eating way too much. The weather was nice, and some of us made it into the lake.

We had such a big crowd (just some of us pictured above) that we decided to get 4 campsites for next year's adventure. I can't wait!

PS - Thanks, Chris, for the great photo!!

Friday wrap

Brad successfully finished his first week at FLIR. He's been pooped in the evenings after filling his head with lots and lots of new information. But I think it's going pretty well. OH, and one of his projects will be the TV helicopter cameras! We thought that was kinda funny.

I successfully finished my week of pedal-powered errands. I ended up driving myself Tuesday night to the urgent care center and to the pharmacy for antibiotics for my sinus gunk, but that was an acceptable exception to my experiment. I may try again next week. We'll see.

My sister (the grad student who has a paper due this evening) bailed on my yard work today, but I spent several hours outside anyway. I spread some bark and got a lot of plants in the ground. I still have a long way to go, so Eryn won't miss out on all the fun. I also promised that I'd save some bark dusting for her. I didn't tell her that I'm also saving some rock spreading for her, too :)

I took advantage of the cloudy morning and cooler temps and went for a run today. I pushed myself to finish my whole loop - 33.33 minutes. We've been doing a lot of climbing and hiking, so I hadn't run in a couple weeks. It was a bit painful, but I'm very glad I got out there!

Pizza dough is rising in the bread maker. Dinner should be yummy! Maybe we'll watch a movie afterward.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Weekly Wednesday (or Thursday)

I had leftover gift certificates for Kasch's, Home Depot and Al's burning a hole in my pocket, so for this week's adventure, we went plant shopping!

We'd heard rumor that Kasch's was having a huge sale. Turns out, the Tigard location and a couple others are closing so they can concentrate on the few remaining stores. Everything was 50% off - woooohooooo!!
I spent all my gift cards and about $30 cash and got a bunch of shade plants for my back yard. Hopefully Eryn will come down tomorrow and help me get them in the ground :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Health is an odd thing. You're going along fine and then you're hit with something - allergies, a sprained ankle, a mystery illness. Suddenly, your life changes (hopefully temporarily!) and you focus on the pain, the misery, the worry.

Right now, I'm battling a sinus infection that's making my teeth hurt really bad on the right side of my face. I'm honking and sneezing and hoping the antibiotics kick in quickly so I can move on.

But I found out yesterday that a friend had a health concern much worse than my plugged up sinuses and achy teeth. Thankfully, that friend went to the doctor and everything is fine. Since getting the good news, these words to an old hymn have been going through my head as I garden: My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus' love and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

In times of sickness and health scares, we can lean on Jesus for peace and reassurance to help us through. Amen! :)