Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I am a vegetarian... actually, I'm a pescetarian - I eat seafood. I made this dietary decision a long time ago for various reasons, mostly because I think it's gross to gnaw on the muscle of another living thing. I also think it's disturbing to create life for the express purpose of killing it - and then eating it. But I sometimes still like turkey and allow myself a bit at Thanksgiving time, especially sandwiches with mayo and white bread. (I always explain to the curious, "It's a personal choice - it's not like I signed a contract or something!")

Anyway, I had a couple bites at Turkey Feast and then a few sandwiches in the following few days. BIG MISTAKE! My body is not used to eating meat, and I've been paying the price since. I'm now feeling a renewed commitment to my meatless lifestyle!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Turkey Feast 2007

This weekend was Turkey Feast 2007 - one of the best weekends of the whole year! It started after we bought our house as a way for me to use my love of cooking and entertaining to express my love for my friends. It's evolved a bit over the past seven years, growing huge and going from me doing all the cooking to others sharing in the fun. As friends have moved away and drifted away, new friends have been added to the mix as space allows. We're so glad that original Turkey Feasters Darrin, Matt, Cristie and David were able to join us again this year!

The preparations started months ahead, picking the weekend, hand making invitations, planning the menu, assigning dishes to others, making a seating chart, moving out furniture and procuring tables, chairs, China, flatware, turkey roasters, etc. from the family. Friday, I hit WinCo and Fred Meyer early to load up on all the groceries I needed.

I baked, cooked, cleaned and decorated all day Friday, setting one giant table for 25. Eryn arrived Saturday morning to help with the rest of the details, including roasting two turkeys for our hungry guests.

At 5 p.m., the doorbell rang as our friends began to arrive. Soon, we were eating, talkingl, laughing and enjoying our feast.

Our group is also evolving as youngsters are joining. This year, we had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, a 1-year-old and a 2-month-old. Baby Abram Steven Dunlop was also nearby - in his mommy's tummy. He was born the next afternoon! (On a side note, Noah Rathkey was born just two days, I think, after his parents attended Turkey Feast 2005 - Eryn and I are wondering how we can market this eat-our-turkey-and-have-your-baby service!)

Between contractions, Irene and Brandon had a whose-belly-is-bigger contest :)
Now I should stop procrastinating and get back to cleaning up from the fun!

P.S.--Be sure to take our poll on the right sidebar. : )

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tiger Pride

Last weekend, the Tigard High Marching Band competed at PCI at Willamette University in Salem. Here are some snapshots from the evening performance: Action shot:
The pit:

Tigers can dance? Oh, yeah!! They have some great dance moves that really get the crowd going: PCI always ends with a full Olympic-style retreat - quite a visual treat (I wish I had snapped a picture of it!!). Then all the bands line up on the field for the awards ceremony:

During the daytime preliminary competition, Tigard took first place in its division, along with high music, high general effect, high auxiliary and high percussion. Our final competition of the season is next weekend at OSU. Wish us luck!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Blades of Glory"

We watched "Blades of Glory" last night. It was funny, but Brad was really tired from his business trip and thought it was REALLY funny! Definitely worth a rent, especially when you want something dumb.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pumpkins and goats and doughnuts, oh my!

Brad and I bundled up and went to Lee Farms in Tualatin today for some holiday fun. We saw goats and llamas and sheep and calves and pigs and chickens and dogs. We picked out a small pumpkin for Brad's Mr. Potato Head pirate set and some apple cider doughnuts fresh from the machine - YUM! What a nice afternoon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Condo for sale!!

Are you in the market for a condo? My sister just bought a house and is selling her place. It's a vaulted-ceiling, second-story unit in Tigard in a great wooded setting (gorgeous right now with the leaves changing!) She completely updated it - new counters, cabinets, range, sink, light fixtures, hood & floor. Bath has new counters, cabinets, sinks, tile back splash, tub surround, fixtures & light fixtures. Brand new rock fireplace & new baseboards. It also has a garage with a workbench, shelving, cabinetry.

You can look it up on - #7103395

Let me know if you're interested or if anyone you know is interested and I can get you a tour. It's a really nice place!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Gene!

Brad's family gathered yesterday to celebrate his grandpa's 84th birthday with some pizza and apple crisp. Happy Birthday, Gene! :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sleepfull in Seattle

I was lucky enough to spend the week in Seattle while Brad attended a convention on vacuum technology (sounds exciting, huh!?) It was the first major downtime I've had since I left KOIN, and it was amazing. Without household chores and other obligations to get in the way, I simply relaxed. I got to sleep lots, work out whenever I wanted, eat yummy food, watch cable TV, explore the city and shop. I took along some Christmas crafts and got them all done while watching "Law and Order" and TLC. Now, back to real life... I have piles of laundry, a "neglected" 18-pound cat (standing on the keyboard right now!), an empty refrigerator and a list a mile long.... Oh, well :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

50% off is a very good price!

The Tigard Lowe's is selling its out-of-season plants for 50%!! I stumbled upon the sale yesterday and bought a bunch of heuchera, Oregon grape and a couple others, along with a full-price daphne. I got home and started dreaming of the places I could put my little half-price beauties and decided that I had to go back for more. So today I loaded up the back of my car and then spent several hours getting them in the ground. I even took out three shrubs that were here when we moved in and never really floated my boat.

Hopefully fall really is great for planting, as they say, and they will get well rooted now for a wonderful spring!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Nana Fantz!

My great grandmother, Charlotte Fantz, was born 95 years ago today on 10/11/12. She went home to be with the Lord in 2004.

I remember fondly eating her skillet lasagna, hearing her play the organ, drawing with stencils while Nana, Papa and my parents played pinochle, swimming in Palm Desert and riding the golf cart around the park. Whenever I smell sunscreen, I'm taken back to our trips to their winter home.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I have an interesting mix of tunes on my iPod Shuffle, from U2 to Michael Jackson to Aerosmith to CSN to Tony Bennett to James Taylor to NFC recordings to contemporary Christian to jazz to acoustic hymns. I love how all different types of music shuffle through my earphones while I'm working out. Today, Eryn and I were running stadiums at THS when Chris Rice's Untitled Hymn came on. It's one of my favorites, and in the lyrics I find comfort, strength and hope. Beautiful images. (CLICK for a sample)

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for Love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk, sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain...then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside...then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on glory’s side...and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Broken Top-9/22

A couple weeks ago I was invited to join a small Mazamas group on a last minute trip to Broken Top in central Oregon.

My friend Sean and I had climbed Broken Top once before via the North Ridge after camping at Green Lakes, as most parties do. For this trip we used a more adventurous approach from the North/East, which provided an opportunity to see a new side of the mountain.

As it turns out, Broken Top is much more impressive from the East because there are some pretty sizeable glaciers on that side in addition to Tam McArthur Rim.

I neglected to bring my camera, but fortunately one of my climbing companions brought along two, and did an excellent job of documenting the trip. You can see his pictures at:

After navigating a very narrow, rocky, rutted dirt road in the dark we spent Friday night at the Park Meadows trailhead. We got up early Saturday and left camp about sunrise.

The approach took us through some awesome backpacking camps at Park Meadows and Golden Lakes. Both of these areas see much less traffic than Green Lakes on the other side of Broken Top. We had perfect weather for such a late season trip, sunny and cool with only a slight breeze.

After scrambling up the North Ridge we chose to ignore the short crack that is most frequently used to ascend the summit block. Instead, we setup a fixed line and ascended the summit block using a route around to the right of the nose on the North Ridge. The summit provided excellent views of Jefferson, Mt. Washington, all three sisters, Hood, 3-Finger Jack, and Bachelor.

After a short rappel we descended the scree slopes on the east side of the North Ridge. From the base of the ridge we made a loop by heading cross-country and following an old unused irrigation ditch back to the trailhead.

Another beautiful day in the mountains, with just enough adventure to hold me over until the next trip.

University of Oregon Fessssssstival of Bands

The Tigard High School Marching Band and Colorguard hit the road this weekend for our annual trip to the University of Oregon Fesssssssstival of Bands. Because of our early play time (8:49 a.m.) and our Friday night football game, we decided to take the teens down late Friday to make room for a little bit of sleep. Motel 6 on Beltline was our home for the night.
A car alarm went off about 1:30 a.m., waking most of the sleeping guests. Turns out it was one of our buses. It finally timed out, but not before several of Springfield's finest came to check it out.

We were all up way before dawn, enjoying a very dark, chilly breakfast of bagels and bananas on the sidewalk.
After unloading at Autzen and a short warm up, it was time to wait at the ready gate. The "pit" is all the area on the front sideline where the non-marching instruments (timpani, marimba, synthesizer, gong, concert bass drum, etc., etc.) go. The "pit crew" is the adult group in charge of moving all that equipment on and off the field very quickly to avoid timing penalties. Here's the pit players waiting to go on:
Here's the pit crew (best in the circuit, I might add!):
And the parents who sandbag our props to keep them grounded, literally:
Side note: Notice my beautiful garden cart? It's now in pieces. Too much sand and not enough strength. I am very sad :(

After our performance, it was time to check out of the hotel, eat a lovely brunch (the pit crew went to IHOP!) and head into the stands to watch other bands. Eryn and I accompanied mom into the directors' lounge in the press box area for an awesome aerial view of the field, stands and the surrounding hills. Our kids are the ones in purple - very convenient for tracking purposes!
Here are all the band camps set up next to the stadium. It's definitely a cultural experience!
Here's Camp Tigard. Our super-sweet equipment trailer:
And the chuck wagon to feed the masses:
It was renovated and tricked out by the Gary Fantz, band booster extraordinaire (and my grandfather!)
In the late afternoon, seniors Trenton, Ashley and Scott suited up and went to the sideline to represent Tigard in the preliminary awards ceremony.
Allie, a Tigard High grad and current UO music student, was one of our hosts for the day. She came to hang out after her band put on a little show for us.

In our single-A category, we took high percussion and fourth place out of 18. Our score was higher than last week but not high enough to make finals. It was disappointing, but the kids learned some things about themselves and their show and have stuff to work on before next time.

Next up, PCI Oct. 20 at Willamette University.If you're interested in checking out the fun, let me know and I can hook you up!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's not all fun and games

Just in case you're having jealous thoughts about me quitting my job and being a lady of leisure, I want to share my most recent chore with you. Because I had free time today, I was elected to drive my folks' truck to the dump and unload the stinky, nasty cat-pee carpet, pad and underlayment. The place smelled SO bad that it made the cat pee seem like potpourri.

BUT, I also had time to decorate for Halloween, so I'm not complaining too loudly.


Can you believe it's already snowing in the mountains?! An early snowfall isn't that unusual, but it's sticking around and building! Last night, KGW's weather dude said that if it was January, this kind of storm would be dumping snow on the valley floor. And KPTV's guy said this morning that Timberline had 16 inches of the white stuff. WOW. This picture is from a Meadows Web cam.

So it will either keep piling up, or a warmup with take it all away (and cause some fall flooding). What do you think? I'm thinking about waxing my skis ;)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lucky No. 13

Thirteen years ago tonight, Brad and I went to a Winter Hawks game at Memorial Coliseum. It was our first date, and we've been joined at the hip ever since. Woohoo!