Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Birthday, antlers and a showery run

Lots of busy-ness in the past few days!

Thursday was Mom's birthday... the big 5-8! She requested Chinese food from Yen's and then game night and chocolate eclairs. Unfortunately, Eryn has pneumonia (!) and wasn't up for a party. So instead, we stuffed ourselves on marginal Chinese food and then watched Big Hero 6 at Bridgeport (minus Eryn):
I had heard good things... and we weren't disappointed! It was a great movie with a good message. I'd definitely recommend it!

Then we had fun in the lobby:
We all decided we needed one :)

Friday, I saw this car and it made me so very happy!
I can't wait to put on my reindeer nose and antlers on Friday :)

Friday night, we attended one of the most nerve-racking football games ever. Tigard was taking on Jesuit at home in the quarter finals. We played well at the start then kinda lost it. But at the end, we came back and tied it up. In THREE overtimes, we WON! It was so exciting!

This week, we play West Salem in the semis at Hillsboro Stadium. GO TIGERS!!

Saturday, I went for a run with longer intervals than I've been doing the past couple weeks. My PT wanted me to back off, but I've been doing pretty good, so she told me to push it a bit.

I did four 5-minute run intervals and then two 10-minute runs. It felt really good to be out in the sun, then the rain, then the sun again.
It was a gorgeous day for a run!

My heel felt fine until about mile 4.2 - but not too bad. I'm anxious to report back to her at tomorrow's appointment and see what she says I can do next.

 I ended up with 5.51 miles in all at an overall 10:24 average. That includes about 16 minutes of walking - so I'm happy with that pace.

Friday, November 21, 2014

No. 45

Wow. This book was monumentally bad.

Brad is constantly harassing me because I just pick up random books. But It usually works out, and I end up exposed to books I would probably have otherwise missed.

This was not one of those times.

I have no idea why I saved Marilyn Sachs' Thunderbird from the give-away pile.
I truly don't mind young-reader books. They are often entertaining and quick to read. But I immediately realized this was not a young-reader book. I think it was for children, complete with cheesy illustrations:
But, it was a really crappy book for children. The plot was awful. The writing was awful. 

I would definitely have put it down, but after just a few minutes of reading, I was already nearly halfway done! Plus, I had to know what happened :)

And now I can say that No. 45 is done! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lunch walk

I've started a new practice this year at work. Instead of just sitting during my lunch break, I try to get out and get some fresh air at least once a week.

It's not for exercise - no sweating involved in these ones. It's to clear my head and move my body.

I went for a walk yesterday in nearby Cook Park. There was a huge pile of leaves in the parking lot:
The lower park is closed to cars for the winter (since the river often floods into the parking lot), so the place was totally deserted... and gorgeous!
Except for some geese:
Since it's been mostly cold and dry so far this season, the often-flooded lower trail was dry... and gorgeous!
I listened to an NFC podcast and thoroughly enjoyed the brisk air and sunshine.
I saw just one jogger on my entire park adventure. So peaceful.

Then I had to stop to take a picture of this beauty back at the school. The sweetgum trees are amazing right now... gorgeous!
I'm so glad I decided to do these walks, and I hope to keep going throughout the winter months. You know what they say: "There's no such thing as bad weather... just bad clothes" ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where have I been?

Do you guys know about Pentatonix? Of course you do... I'm the one apparently living under a rock.
The a capella group's Mary Did You Know has been floating around Facebook the past couple weeks, and I finally took a listen last night. Wow. They are really good. Now I want all the songs :)

Check them out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No. 44

Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt is my 44th book of the year.

Izzy is a high school student who leaves a party with a drunk classmate and ends up losing her leg after a serious car crash. The story follows Izzy's hospital stay and recovery in the weeks following the crash. Her friends don't stick around, but a different girl enters her life and helps her heal emotionally.

It's a good story of her inner battles, family issues and physical trials. I enjoyed the quick read.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Night of the Livin' Blues

I go to a lot of THS band programs, partly to support my students, partly to support my mom and partly because I like to listen to music. But this annual event was a first for me: Night of the Livin' Blues... an evening of hot jazz and cool blues.
The cafeteria is transformed into a nightclub for this guitar-and-jazz feature. The groups alternated between the guitar stage and the jazz stage:
Mom purchased a table for the family, and we had great seats!

This was really top-notch entertainment, especially the guitar ensembles. Thanks to Mr. Jerry King, we have an exceptional guitar program at THS. He's retiring this year, and I hope the program continues.

The evening, which is a fund raiser, included yummy desserts and drinks and raffle tickets for purchase.
I didn't win, but Mom did! She was MCing and kept pushing the raffle, telling the crowd that her seven tickets for $10 were all going in the Seahawks basket. She gave ME her tickets so it wouldn't look bad if she won... while calling her own number. WELL... she read off the numbers and it was one of her tickets!!! I claimed it so no one knew :)  HA!

This was a fabulous evening of dessert and music! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014


It was SO cold Friday night, but my Tigers were playing in the playoffs, so instead of staying warm and cozy inside, I put on all my clothes and went outside!
I had my thickest poly-pro tights, my quilted "ranger" pants, tall socks and boots (with Little Hotties inside) on the bottom. On top, two poly-pro tops, a heavy-weight quarter zip, a fleece vest, my puffy jacket and my THS Football jacket - and a hat, scarf, three pair of gloves and Little Hotties.

AND... I was sitting inside my very warmest winter camping sleeping bag. Cozy!
Dad apparently didn't look at the forecast and was woefully under dressed. When I left during the third quarter (because we were totally blowing out Sunset!), I left my sleeping bag with Dad.
Tigard is on a roll! We're four years undefeated in league play, and so far, we're still kicking butt in the playoffs.

Next up is Jesuit in the quarterfinals this Friday at THS. GO TIGERS!!!

(THS Football Web site)


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ice Day 2014

Thursday's apocalyptic weather didn't materialize as expected, but roads were slick enough and the predictions scary enough for most area schools to close for the day. 

I will never complain about an extra day off work. After working in TV news for nine years and having to work nearly 'round the clock on bad-weather days (and election days, and national tragedy days...), any extra time off is welcome and enjoyed to the fullest.

I know lots of parents whined about school being canceled "for no reason." Get over it. School's canceled during snowy/icy weather is for student safety. If we'd had class and things had gotten crazy as expected, people would have been screaming then, too.

As a wise woman said Thursday, "Some folks are annoyed that schools are late or closing when 'nothing's happening at my house!' Perhaps it's not about you..."


I digress... 

The roads might have been just a touch too warm to ice over where I live in Tigard, but everything else was plenty cold, and the freezing rain piled up!
Throughout the day, I watched all outside surfaces collect an ever-thickening layer of ice. 
My poor plants were so heavy and droopy by the end of the storm.

I finished one book and started another, all while wrapped in a blanket, cuddling with Gizmo in front of the fire.

I also dragged my butt off the couch for a short run on the treadmill - 5 miles while watching Law and Order: SVU.
Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe of the day was homemade chicken pot pie. I happened to have some leftover chicken in the fridge from something Brad made Wednesday, and I had time to cook a more complex meal, so I figured it was fate -- Brad would eat one of his favorites for dinner!
I used my own super-simple crust recipe and tossed in a bunch of extra veggies I had on hand. Brad said it was very good! I guess it's a keeper :)

What a happy, unexpected extra day off :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

No. 43

When I saw this on the cart of books to be weeded from the THS library, I had to read it. Harry and Hortense at Hormone High, copyright 1984. Too perfect to pass up.

I expected a very light, silly book but instead found the story of a teen suffering from deep psychological issues. Jason's parents were killed when he was a child, and to compensate for the trauma, he's convinced that he's the god Icarus.

The story is short but details Harry and Hortense's struggle to deal with Jason's very public delusions. It was actually kind of powerful.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Christmas music

While I don't want to rush fall, it makes me so happy to be working on Christmas music in handbells!
We don't play in November, so after our October play date, we jumped right in to the holiday tunes.
We've already done some good work on several challenging pieces. Hopefully we'll be ready when we play Sunday morning, Dec. 7, and again on Christmas Eve.

Come see us :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gobble, gobble

Eryn and I went shopping this week...
That can only mean one thing: Turkey Feast 2014 is just around the corner!
YUM!! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Quick run before Christmas fun

My favorite workout partner, Say Yes to the Dress, has been taken off Netflix! Fortunately, there are so many other great shows to keep me company on the treadmill.
I did 4.25 miles right after work yesterday while watching Law and Order: SVU:
I'm still using my run/walk program. This was 5-minute run intervals.

My foot was feeling better but isn't doing so hot again. I'm so frustrated. I had PT twice this week and will go back more next week. While the stretches have loosened up the joint and calf like she wanted, I'm still having pain. Moving on to some eccentric work, now. Fingers crossed.

After my workout and super-quick shower, my fam headed to the annual Al's Garden Center holiday preview.
After sampling fruit and sauce, I filled my arms with ice apples and couldn't take any more pictures of the holiday decorations and such. Al's puts on wonderful displays to get you in the mood - and to get you buying!

I sampled some other goodies and went home with apples, fudge, toffee and cinnamon cashews. YUM!!

Then we met up with Brad for dinner at Rose's in Sherwood. Brad's burger was the largest I've ever seen. He almost didn't finish it!

It's fun to get a little glimpse of Christmas. But I don't want to skip ahead - I love fall and want to revel in its glory while I can :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No. 42

No. 42 was The Peanut Butter Murders by Corinne Holt Sawyer.

The book is the same series as No. 41 and another being weeded from the THS library stacks. It's a simple story, but the mystery held until the end. The main characters, a couple ladies who live in a retirement community, are quirky and always sticking their noses in the middle of things. A fun story.


Monday, November 3, 2014


Congrats to the Tigard High School Marching Ensemble, the NWAPA Class A Champions!!!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is their third title in a row!
These 56 students have been working since mid-August, and in their fourth, and final, competition of the year Saturday, took first place in Class A in prelims, 13th place overall. In finals, they played their hearts out and left it all on the field. The effort paid off, and they moved up to 12th place and improved their score by 4 points. Incredible!

This year's show was exceptionally well written, both musically and visually. And the students' execution improved every performance and pretty much maxed out Saturday night. It was just an amazing season.

Check out their finals performance:

It's been my pleasure to work with this excellent group, including students, staff and parent volunteers. SO VERY PROUD of everyone!


Saturday, November 1, 2014