Monthly Archives: August 2006

Phun Photo Phriday

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Beyond Beauty?

I guess that explains ‘Full Service’…or maybe this wider shot offers more insight.

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Ah…Vacation is Looming.

We’ve been planning a trip to NYC to visit our dear friend Rita who has been to Portland about 7 times in the past 10 years. The bad part is that she planned a trip to France about the same time and she’s leaving 3 days after we arrive. The good part is she’s offered us her apartment in Mid-town for the remainder of our trip. We’d be fools to pass up that opportunity so we humbly accepted.

Then, to sweeten the deal, she offered to purchase theatre tickets for us. This way she could pick the seats and save the service charges. Now that’s above and beyond! So, this past weekend, we put together a wish list and sent it off and today she sent a note letting us know she has purchased all the tickets. Yep, all of them! Not one show on our list will be missed nor will we be sitting in the rafters or behind a pole. I know this doesn’t mean much to most folks, especially those lucky Manhattanites that can easily walk over to the theatre and grab tickets to the best shows, but for those of us on the left coast it saves a lot of trouble and time on the internet.

Since reading the note, I’ve been hard pressed to get any work done. I think I should go look into NYC restaurants…we’ll need just the right place to take Rita to dinner to say thanks!

Phun Photo Phriday

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These have been turning up all over Portland the past few months.  Every time I run across one I have to chuckle.  I loves me some simple street art!

Crisis…what Crisis?

What is middle age really?

I would have thought I could find a decent explanation of “middle age” by the time I reached it but now that I think I’m there, I’m not really sure I am because I can’t find any definitive information showing that I’ve reached that pinnacle.

There is no solid information available on this phenomenon especially when it comes to men. You often hear about women having a “mid-life crisis” and everyone relates that to menopause…which includes hot flashes and bitchiness. When it comes to men, a “mid-life crisis” usually involves leaving one’s wife/partner, buying a sports car, and having an affair with some Paris Hilton/George Michael type ‘ho’ only to regret it later…or some variation on that theme.

I’ve thought a lot about this lately because I’m not feeling like my usual self. I’ve been feeling tired, bitchy, and uninspired…like a woman in menopause. Sometimes, I’m flat out bored and don’t know how to overcome that boredom or I want to change things like the yard, the house, my car. I want to travel, to get into better shape, to run naked through the neighborhood screaming “The fundamentalists are coming, the fundamentalists are coming!”, but they’re already here… and I just don’t have the energy to run anymore…although my sentences obviously do!

Truly though, I don’t have much energy these days. That’s why I’m questioning this middle age thing. That, and the fact that today is my 45th birthday. I wouldn’t normally think of 45 as middle age but the way I’ve been feeling has brought it to mind. Maybe it’s not an age thing, maybe it’s all hormonal and like menopause, it affects people at different times in their lives and now is my time. I don’t know…maybe I don’t really seek an answer to the question or maybe I’ve already answered it…for me anyway.

What I do know is that today I celebrate my 45th birthday. I get to celebrate my birthday with the man I love and have shared my life with for the past 17 years. I will not buy a sports car. I will not be cruising the park for ho’s and I will overcome this lull.

As for the “mid-life crisis”…nobody in my family has lived past 89 so I guess I’m past middle age and well into my “past-mid-life crisis” and all this was for naught. We’ll see…

!

As if to emphasize the stats I reported yesterday about the end of our dry period here in Portland…it is raining this morning. Actually it’s just a light drizzle but still…it’s overcast and there is water falling from the sky…technically that qualifies as rain in my book. There was enough drizzle to make me use my windshield wipers on my way to work…so again…rain in my book.

What makes this so funny is that I remember it raining at least once every August since I’ve moved here and it surprises family and friends when they come to visit. Most of them prefer to come in August because it is so hot at home that they’re looking for a little relief. We always warn them that it may rain while they’re here and they laugh it off as though we’re kidding. Many a time, they’ve arrived to a serious downpour. I guess it makes great memories for them as they never laugh it off again and usually come prepared with sweatshirts and light hooded jackets on their next visit.

Of course these August rains rarely last more than a day or two and the temps stay in the 70s and lower 80s so it’s not as bad as it sounds. As an added bonus we don’t have to water the garden those days. And…when all is said and done…say tomorrow or Friday, the sun will be back out in force and we’ll have 90 degree weather in time for the weekend.
Oh the joys and woes of Northwest living!

A Short Summer

I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for more than 10 years now and I know that our summers are short but the stats I saw tonight really struck me. The “hot” period in Portland that begins July 13th, ended yesterday, August 20. The “wet” period ended July 12th and begins August 21st. In other words, summer is over and it would not be unusual for us to have cool, wet weather from today forward. Of course we’ll have nice weather through most of September but the hot dry period has ended. And here I’ve been feeling guilty about not posting regularly.
I really need to relax and realize that I will have plenty of time to post this winter. In fact…I’ll have so much time that I can write posts to get me through next year’s long summer. Yep! But for right now…I need to take advantage of every ray of sun, every dinner and party invitation and every opportunity to work in the yard and garden. Spark up the grill, run with the dog, hike the local trails and celebrate the season because it’s about to come to an end.

The good thing is this is the best part of the season when the garden begins to pump out produce and we can barely find the time to pick all the fruits and veggies, let alone eat them. Tomatoes are abundant, squash and cucumbers too, peppers are just about ready and the corn will be ready to go in about a week. Oh how I loves me some fresh corn!

It’s also been a great year for the fruit trees too and the apples have produced a bumper crop which means, apple pie, apple crisp, apple butter and just plain old apples…eaten right off the tree. So if I miss a day or two, you’ll know I spent the evening picking, cooking or canning and it’s only a matter of time until you get to see what we made. Like this…

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Cooking up some Salsa Verde

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…and here it is on the right. Mmmm…now to find some chips!

Phun Photo Phriday

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Bouphant!

Stalling

Yes…I admit it…I’m stalling. After taking a week off from work, I’m busy trying to catch up and therefore, I have little time to blog. You should actually be happy because the Oregon winter isn’t all that far off and I’ll have more than enough time to blog. You’ll be hard pressed to keep up with my posts come January!
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Here’s a photo of where I’m spending some of my time when I’m not at work. Note that ‘the corn is as high as an…’ yeah, yeah, more cheap stalling tactics. You do have to admit the garden looks great though, all due to Mark’s nurturing the seeds, his diligence fighting moles and watering…by hand. Yep…each and every plant by hand!

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The harvest is beginning and this is the big payoff, something we look forward to every year since our summers are so short. My mouth waters just thinking of dinners that consist of sliced tomatoes, corn on the cob, cucumber soup and stir fried zuch’s, crook’s and peppers. Mmmm.

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In another week or two, this tomato plant and all the others will be so full we’ll be forced to share the fruit with neighbors and friends. Much of it we’ll put by…about 2 dozen quarts of stewed tomatoes…some of which will be pre-spiced for a quick marinara sauce we can use on pasta and pizza during the short days of winter. Yes, it’s a lot of work but its fun, rewarding work and we love spending that time together and really enjoy eating fresh tasting, preservative free foods all winter. It’s the simple pleasures!!

So, forgive my stalling but the warm weather rules my life right now and the garden is vital to my survival. Not physically but emotionally…and psychologically.

He’s Come Again

Oh…I can just imagine all the freaky fundamentalist christians (non caps intended) that will now find my funky blog thinking they’ve found a friend in Jesus. Sorry folks…move along…go back to your bible thumping as I’ve got friends who like reading this blog and I have to catch them up!

Yes, I’ve come back to the blog and can see I picked a bad time to disappear without advance warning. Michael at Spo-Reflections tagged me with a meme that I really want to respond to…and I will very soon. Lynette found me through Joe.My.God. and wanted to know if the weather here was actually as mild as I mentioned on Joe’s page. Well…I did make a typo on the comment but the temp was actually lower than 60 that night and barely topped 70 that afternoon so I was pretty close. Now I have her blog to catch up on…and I’m really enjoying it. She has her head and heart in the right place even if her person is located in the heart of RED country and I love her Southern style. Check her out!

The best and most surprising outcome of taking unintended time off is that I learned there are more folks that actually read my blog than I would have ever imagined. Actually, they don’t read me so much, they like my photos. That I find a bit odd but the blog stats show that I get more hits on Fridays than any other day of the week. That makes me feel even more obligated to keep up with “Phun Photo Phriday” even if I take some time off from blogging.

I do however get plenty of hits each day which makes me wonder who actually reads my page. I find the whole blogging world fascinating in the fact that you become part of a community that you don’t necessarily choose. Sure, some folks you meet here share common ideas or hobbies but many are just interesting people that you may never want to meet but find their life interesting in a voyeuristic way. Others find you, and there are those that you do want to meet, folks you think would fit nicely into your circle of friends. It really is amazing and truly has a life all its own.

So, thanks to all of you and when next I take some time off I’ll hang a shingle before I leave!

Busy Break

Sorry folks…I didn’t realize that many of you cared! I’d pull out the Sally Field remark but it’s tired with a capital ‘T’.

I took the week off because we’re having the house painted and we wanted needed to do some busy work like cleaning the garage. We usually manage that dreadful task every summer but last year, with the kitchen remodel using up the entire dry season, we didn’t get around to the more menial tasks. Therefore, the garage was slowly closing in on us and if we didn’t attack back soon, we’d have nowhere to park the cars.

I had planned to blog while I was taking the time off but decided I wanted to try and make it feel a little more vacation-like so I threw most obligations out the window. I have done some work around the house and will complete the planned tasks before I head back to work on Monday but mostly I’ve lounged a lot, read a lot, and enjoyed the nice weather, a lot!

I will be back to my usual schedule on Monday but will be reading you all regularly, as I have all week. Just go check your stats!