Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Craziness continues

It became very dark yesterday afternoon just before it did this:
The sky opened up, and little balls of ice careened to earth. It lasted more than a few minutes, blanketing my yard in white. Crazy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hooray for Mabel!

I had a weekend packed with fun and adventure! My mom, dad, sis and I left home about 2:30 p.m. Friday and headed north for Ichiro bobblehead night at Safeco Field. The Mariners lost to the A's - actually, pitcher Batista lost it for them by giving up 3 runs in the first inning! But it was a very nice night with the stadium roof open. We all wore matching Ichiro shirts in our top-row seats:
The view in front of us:
The view behind us:
Big-league baseball and a sunset over Puget Sound from the same seats - not too shabby!

Saturday, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and drove out Interstate 90 to North Bend, Wash., for a hike at Little Si. I have never been on a more crowded trail, but it was still fun. Sunday, Steve and I went up the Angel's Rest trail. Since it was a conditioning hike for our upcoming Mount Adams climb, we loaded our packs with weight and worked our legs and lungs up to the viewpoint. Adams was barely visible peaking over the hills across the way.
Brad spent the weekend at Smith Rock in Central Oregon with his Mazamas Advanced Rock class. Hopefully he'll have a few minutes to tell you his story.

-Liz :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blood Brothers

I just finished reading Blood Brothers, by Elias Chacour. I never knew much about the Israeli-Palestinian history and fighting other than that they both lay claim to the same land. This book, a short, quick read, is written by a Christian Palestinian who was a child in the late 1940s when the Zionists took over what is now Israel. He recalls the soldiers coming to his village and warning that the villagers were in danger. They were to leave everything behind and head for the hills - and the soldiers would protect their homes and tell them when it was safe to return. They were never allowed back. It's a heartbreaking story.

Elias was sent to live in a city orphanage so he could be educated. He eventually went to seminary and became a priest. He is currently the Archbishop of Galilee of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and works for peace and understanding between Jews and Palestinians.

In the western world, I think we most often see Palestinians as the bad guys. This true story shows another perspective. However, the point is not to turn the tide on the Israelis but to promote peace and reconciliation. It explains the history and puts faces to those involved in the ongoing war.

I would highly recommend this read! Anyone want to borrow my copy?

-Liz :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day music

While I strive each day to be kind to the world that God has provided, yesterday's Earth Day holiday prompted a little extra. I decided to walk, rain or shine, to my volunteer work at Medical Teams. I also suggested that my sister, mother and father join in the human-powered transportation since they all live close to their places of employ. I'm happy to say that we all walked or rode bikes in the cool drizzle. Hopefully we can make that a habit and, as they say, make every day Earth Day!

In the evening, we were treated to a concert by the Tualatin Valley Community Band. The group's timpanist recently stepped down, and my mom was asked to fill in. She easily took over the mallets and did a kick-butt job! (that's her standing in the back, house right)

The band shared the stage with high school musicians preparing for their upcoming solo and ensemble competitions. I was very impressed by each student, as well as the community band. It was a lovely night of entertainment!

-Liz :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Come listen to jazz!

If you like jazz, plan to be at Tigard High School Sunday 4/27 as The Mel Brown Quartet holds a benefit concert for the THS band program!

The group, a regular at Portland's Jimmy Mak's, will play at 7 p.m. in the THS auditorium. $10 for adults, $5 for students.
See you there! :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Living in a post-Christian world

If you didn't see the latest issue of the George Fox Journal, check out this article called "Rethinking Evangelism." I thought it was very interesting and insightful. Here's a short passage:

"Our mechanistic approaches worked when you had a vaguely Christian world. In some of Billy Graham’s latest interviews, he says he realizes in hindsight that he basically went around to the Western world saying, “Come on home to what you know to be true.” Back then he could say, “the Bible says,” because everyone knew the felt-board Sunday school stories of the Bible. But now in a more post-Christian world, we don’t have the luxury of doing that anymore. People don’t know our story or doctrine. There’s no Christian home for them to come back to. So it requires us dropping approaches that seemed sensible in a Christian world and adopting post-Christian ways of doing evangelism — which has more to do with faithfully being the people of God."

I immediately thought of a friend who didn't know the story of the Good Samaritan. She understood the concept that it was someone, perhaps a passerby, who helped out someone else. But she didn't know the story. She was raised completely outside the church and had never heard the story. I was truly shocked, but it really emphasized where she was coming from in her personal and spiritual life.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tired legs

Today's outing took us up the BPA access road in Portland's Forest Park. It's a favorite training hike for us because it's close to the city and gains lots of elevation very quickly. Brad, Steve and I strapped on our weighted packs and trekked from Highway 30 to the top of the hill. While the clouds were higher we could see Kelly Point, Sauvie Island and Vancouver. Several times the clouds lowered and a snow shower moved through. One shower brought giant, wet flakes. It's almost May. I'm so confused!

-Liz :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I've spent more than 16 hours in Dave's yard over the past two weeks. My back aches and I have blisters on my hands from shoveling bark. My knees are caked with dirt from crawling around in the mud. But it looks great!!! No pictures until it's done... very soon :) Here's another "before" shot.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

I love "The Office" and am SO happy it's back.

-Liz :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!

We celebrated Dad's 54th birthday last night with homemade enchiladas, a movie on the big screen and angel food cake. The flick was "Rendition" -- about an Egyptian bombing and the interrogation of a suspect. It was very powerful and had a couple great twists. It got 10 thumbs up from my family :)


Friday, April 11, 2008


Buying lots of plants with someone else's money is really fun! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Gardening for money?!

My friend's yard needs some love. Dave wants a nice yard but doesn't have the time or inclination to work on it -- but he does have money. I have the time and inclination but no money. So it works out pretty well for both of us :)

I spent several hours today weeding and picking out plants to add to his sparse landscape. Here's the front yard before. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

- Liz :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

3-hour tour

Sean, Brad, Karen, Steve, Liz

This week's hike took us to Aldrich Butte above Bonneville Hot Springs in the Gorge (at least that's where we were supposed to end up!). We'd never been there, but the map looked easy enough to follow. We got through the first few directions OK but then it didn't look right. A Mazamas group pointed us up a muddy trail and told us to go right and then stay left. The trail was as muddy as could be, and we were trying to keep our footing as we climbed the hill. We got to a junction and soon realized that our map didn't show the trail we'd been on.... so where were we?? Instead of following his right/left/left instructions, we went Brad's way. We eventually found the PCT (which was on our map) and guessed as to where we were. After another couple hours of watching the sky get darker and hoping we were on the right track, we came to the next anticipated crossing (a good sign that we really had found our way).

We soon passed the side trail to Aldrich Butte, but it was too late to make the trip. So we continued down and, right around the corner, there was that junction - the one where we were supposed to go left instead of right. (So that guy's directions were right after all!)

But instead of going down the steep, muddy slip-and-slide route, we chose to try yet another unknown trail (we assumed it was the one on our map that we were supposed to be on in the first place before that Mazamas guy sent us the wrong way). All looked good until we got to the power lines near the bottom and the trail split in several directions. The map wasn't as helpful as it should have been, and I lost the vote 4-1, sending us down the wrong way. We ended up on a road that hopefully would take us to the car. After walking and walking, we started to doubt. It also started to pour! Steve, armed with a small map from the Web, was sure that we were in the wrong place (duh!) but that the road would get us there (yay!).

We made it! Notice Karen's soaked pants, the mud up Steve's legs, the pouring rain and the standing water in our photo? It's always an adventure with us... always :)


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Run of the sickies

Today was the Tilikum 10K/5K run to raise money for camp scholarships. Last year, we tackled the longer run. That was my plan again... until I got sick. I've had a horrible head cold for more than a week. It threw off my training, and I knew I wouldn't be ready (even if my illness was to disappear before Race Day). Eryn also has the creepy crud, and our mom was feeling a scratchy throat. Still, we decided to give it a try.

Eryn and I planned to try our best at the 5K run. Mom stuck with the 5K walk. It was a chilly, gray morning at Champoeg State Park.
Tim and Laura opted for the walk (Laura took third place!!!!!)
Aaron (the only real runner in the group) ran the 10K while Irene and Abram walked.
I started strong, struggling only to dodge a kid on a bike who was going the same speed as me but weaving around the little path. I felt good as I neared the turnaround point but wondered why more people weren't already passing me. I kept running and running and finally reached the sign (again dodging that kid on the bike!). A couple minutes later, I started to feel a little yucky. I debated with myself, finally coming to the conclusion that I should walk a bit. After 4 minutes, I decided to pick up the speed and finish it out. I was just under 37 minutes.
Eryn mentioned that she thought the turnaround was in a different spot than last year. YES! I was thinking the same thing. Others around us confirmed. Apparently, last year's course was a bit short. HOWEVER, they seemed to have overcompensated and made it a bit too long this year. So considering my sickness/walking and the long course, I'm pretty happy with my time.

Eryn won free bowling in the raffle and mom took us to lunch at Elmer's. A good day :)


Friday, April 4, 2008

Woodland wonders

My woodland garden brings lots of shady challenges but also some awesome rewards... like these:
-Liz :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008


It's been my understanding that, in this day of widespread pharmaceutical advertising, a tremendous amount of effort goes into choosing the names of new medications. I just saw a commercial for a new acid reflux treatment called AcipHex ("ph" pronounced "f"). How did this make it past all the focus groups?? Bad choice :)


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beach snow

Crazy weekend weather in the gorge wasn't enough for me. After my cold Saturday morning hike, Brad and I joined friends at Pacific City for a brief getaway. The almost-April snow in the Coast Range was strange enough, but about 7 a.m. Sunday I awoke to huge flakes falling right outside our sea-level cabin. I put on my glasses and found snow piling up on the deck and picnic table. And the sand dunes across the Nestucca River had turned white!
Fat flakes fell for another 30 minutes or so. I've seen snow at the beach before, but not this late in the season. Right now, I'm looking out my window at bright sunshine and blue skies. It's just plain crazy.

-Liz :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A snowy rest for angels

Despite the crazy weather (I keep saying that, huh!?), I hit the trail Saturday morning with Christine. I didn't have a lot of time, so we stuck close with Angel's Rest at the Bridal Veil exit off Interstate 84. I knew we were in for a weather treat when it started snowing on us at the 80-foot parking lot. As the trail rose, we found slush on the ground, then some snow and then lots of snow! White stuff covered the exposed summit (about 1,500 feet), and a strong wind made it feel like the middle of winter.

The storm made for really cool views. Northwest toward the city: Northeast:
Southwest:Christine LOVES to take pictures along the way - especially of neat weather stuff:
Can't leave the summit without one of these!
I have to admit that I'm ready to hike without freezing my baguettes off (and by baguettes, I mean fingers!), but this bizarre weather has made for some extra-memorable adventures :)