Friday, December 31, 2010
We had to wait about one hour - the group of us, with two small children - until a table was available. There was a busy, busy staff trying to feed everyone and giving the kids a chance to pet the lobsters, if they wanted. One lobster was captured and carried to the kitchen, but at the last minute he/she/it was returned to the tank. Spared, pardoned, reprieve. Not sure what happened but many he didn't pass muster with the customer.
Cute little Kennedy here decided the lobsters were pretty neat, but they belonged in the water and she didn't. She was a good girl at the table and waited patiently by coloring until her order arrived.
This holiday time has been about friends and family in a big way. This made the third get-together we've had, and even though many of us are almost worn out from celebrating, we roused ourselves to take one last shot at it.
At the left in this photo is grandson Cameron, Kennedy between him and Ashley, Marissa behind the menu, Holly - Marissa's good friend and an adopted granddaughter to me - and my son Joe. What to order, what to order???
We finally made up our minds, with me thinking the pecan crusted shrimp skewers and wild rice pilaf sounded excellent.
The Fat Tire beer was excellent with all of it!
Here is the proud dad Joe with daughter Marissa. She got married in July and only has three more terms at the Portland Art Institute and is then bound for glory -- and working hard to pay off her student loans.
Couldn't be prouder she's almost finished with her degree! (Can you tell?)
Peyton (or Payton; I'm not sure of the spelling), the little redhead, played like a good girl/good sport with her magnetic drawing board while waiting for dinner. It looked like a pretty cool toy - one I would have liked to get for Christmas. You can erase everything and start over again from scratch.
And the Mister and his grandson Cameron had plenty of time to talk and catch up. That's the good thing about busy restaurants.
He had to work the next day, so no wild partying for him. And now the Mister and I are home and waiting for midnight - if we can. He's playing guitar and I'm catching up on my blogging. And my knitting, in between picture posting. Some take longer than others, and why waste time?
Well, my goal is to post more often and increase the quality of my writing, so let's hope I make good on this. I don't think it can get too much worse. My best to all my blog friends and the people who drift by - by mistake or curiosity. I hope 2011 brings us all the best and we find a way to bring about peace, feed the hungry, befriend the lonely, educate the world's children and make our world the best it can be. It starts and ends with each one of us - femminismo
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It's mild weather today - sort of. It's 37 degrees F., and will only get a little warmer today.
I hope the solstice finds you well and on your way to ending 2010 with brand new goals and inspiration for the coming year - femminismo
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
When I was 6-years-old I waited behind a curtain for Santa in our little house in North Plains. My father encouraged us to wait and hide and BE QUIET, so my sister and brother and I waited with Dad for the jolly old elf.
We watched as Santa walked through our front door and spread presents under the tree! How did we stay quiet? Or did we? Oh, to have a time travel machine and spy on that merry little group in the closet!
Shhhhhhh! Don't tell me there is no Santa. I watched him come through our front door and now I sit beside him and smile at the thought of Christmas and the memories I have - femminismo
Thursday, December 9, 2010
This is the (at least) 18 ft. tall tree, a Noble fir. What a great name for a tree. The Santa on top is not old at all and it most likely originated in China. Other cultures must really giggle at the things they produce for Americans.
The Noble is not my favorite tree. I prefer a Grand fir, with its wonderful fragrance and bushy branches. The needles are soft, too.
I remember the trees we would have in our house when we were kids. After a long day at work planing lumber while standing on a concrete floor, searching through the woods at night with a flashlight or going out on a tree lot wasn't something our dad wanted to do.
My mother would have gladly gone along, but that would have meant loading up all the kids and she was a lot pickier than my dad and the chore would take "forever."
I seem to remember - or maybe I prefer to remember it this way - that my mother would whisper into our ears, "Make your dad look around and pick out a good looking tree." She would get a slightly desperate look in her eyes.
One year a friend offered our family a tree off his property. We most likely couldn't afford to pay for one that year. Every once in a while the union my father staunchly supported would strike and then we would have to play catch-up on our finances.
So it is 4 p.m., Dad's home from work, we eat dinner and then my sister and brother and I pile into the car with him. I can recall leaning over the front seat peering into the dark as my father drove through our rural area down a dirt and gravel road. His headlights caught a tree in their glare and he braked hard.
He was out the door in a flash and opened the trunk to take out his saw. Someone unrolled a window and we called out - uselessly - "Make sure it's a good one, Dad!"
Dad had the tree down in no time and it was either strapped to the top of the car or placed in the trunk along with the saw. I am certain the family friends were shocked to discover the next morning that the tree that stood proudly by the side of their road was sawed off and g.o.n.e.
I wonder if they ever offered us another tree?
So we take it home to my mother, who sighs as she looks at the crooked tree with the missing branch on one side. My father is not worried because one side can be turned into the corner and a nail and some twine will hold the tree straight.
"It's a Christmas tree!" he said.
Sure enough, it works out. and the bits of tinsel saved from Christmases past glorify each scrawny limb. The large colored bulbs look beautiful in the dark and ornaments gleam next to them. Bits of aluminum foil cover cardboard stars - whose star-shapes are the best we can cut out.
From somewhere, we have small figures for a nativity scene and we venture outside to gather moss and fir boughs to dramatize the tableau. Extra plastic horses or cats and dogs stand in for the camels and sheep that traditionally gather to witness the Christ child's birth. Each year, touching back on these long ago memories brings back the real Christmas for me. The scenes and scents - perfume bottles being unwrapped, cookies, fudge, and meat or fish cooking - of Christmas and the sacrifice of my parents to make our memories of this lovely season of light glow forever anew were the best presents we ever got - femminismo
p.s. The gorgeous fox stole is from the website flavorwire. Check out some of the gifts meant for our cultural icons of today.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Hockney began using his iPhone and then went to the iPad with its handy Brushes app.
"There's no mess" he said, although an observer who watched as he "painted" on the iPad saw his rub his fingers on his clothes as if to clean them.
Well, I wish I lived in Europe or was visiting right now, that's all I can say.
I would like to view this wall of iPads with Hockney's fresh flowers.
But I can't imagine producing art without "mess." Isn't that part of the therapy? - femminismo
p.s. The photo was "stolen" from another blog.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Today I had my picture taken with Santa. I had to wait for a while, since he had gone upstairs in the assisted living facility near where I work to make a personal call. An older lady I was talking with, to pass the time until Santa returned, said she had seen him eating at one of the tables in the dining room.
"Was he eating a plate of cookies?" I asked.
"I don't know what he had," she said. "I think it was just some lunch. He said he got hungry."
"When I was growing up, I thought that's all Santa ever ate was cookies," I replied.
Santa came downstairs just then and I was urged to get my picture taken with him. It was free, so why not.
I got a candy cane from him and held his gloved hand and we smiled. He had an intimidating nose and quite the bushy iron gray mustache. White hair peeked out from behind his fur-trimmed hat and his red suit looked to be a fine polyester blend and quite impeccably brushed and pressed. (His hair might have been polyester, too!)
I think five photos were taken in all, to get it "just right," since this is a keepsake for me. I doubt that Santa needs any more photos of himself with kids.
But on the way out of the building (where Santa was holding court) I stopped to tell the receptionist I had gotten my picture taken with the bearded one himself.
"Oh, that's the Santa that's having chemo," she sighed.
All right then. ... Have you heard anything sadder today? Not me.
Well, maybe the part about everyone probably getting tax cuts.
Tax cuts should be a good thing, right? I'm thinking ... maybe not. I heard about an Oregon school district that may not make it through the rest of the year due to lack of money. If our roads get any worse I will need an off road vehicle to get to work. The mentally ill and homeless may soon be cut off without the few funds they desperately need.
How can we keep cheering for tax cuts when we don't want to give up our high standard of living which, incidentally, is declining? Not just in my opinion, but in lots of opinions.
That's where the word "adult" comes in; like "adult talk" and "adult decisions." It's the end of innocence - the end of (most) magical thinking.
All the good stuff in the world comes from somewhere, from people working and helping out others less fortunate.
Oh, I was so lucky to find this soapbox tonight! Kick it out from under me, if you want, but I just have some questions about how long this can all go on. We will have to cinch our belts and make do with less.
Oh, if we'd only known, when we kept wishing for more and more birthdays so we could be grownups and do whatever we wanted, that it was going to lead to this place and this time - when we would have to take on responsibility for making the world a place where our grandchildren could enjoy the good life too.
For years I thought Hollywood had pretty far-fetched ideas for movies set in the future where all news programs were dictated by governmental oversight, politics were run by a chosen few of the wealthiest people and urban decay was rampant. Who was more prescient? Hollywood or - femminismo
p.s. Enough adult talk! What can I get you for Christmas? A donation to Amnesty International or Doctors Without Borders? How about something for the local food bank? My pleasure!
Friday, December 3, 2010
But looking at the guy - can't really say who he was* - I suddenly realized I was in love. Deep, true love. I was thinking in the back of my mind about how I was going to break this to whoever I was currently dating - or married to - but I had such a good feeling. It's not often you get back a memory so vividly and get to experience once again the actual brain euphoria falling in love brings.
It affected me even through my morning as I worked away in my office. Every once in a while, I would think about how good I felt and start thinking about my dream and how I was in love - wait, that's a dream - yet it seemed almost more real than my actual life.
Almost all my dreams in recent months have seem so vivid and they've taken up a good share of thinking time as I turn them to and fro in my mind.
In one dream I got to hug my grandmother again. In another I fall in love. I can't recall some of the others, and I'm not saying I'm turning into a mental case and not able to separate real life from dream life. It's just that they are so intense - and mostly pleasurable.
Cloths of HeavenHad I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. - W.B.Yeats
Sweet dreams - femminismo
*p.s. I do know, but I will not tell.
p.p.s. The photo is of Rupert Brooke, a war poet, and the image is from the Google collection.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Got to "play" with Photoshop today, manipulating a picture of a building decorated with Christmas lights - taken after dark. Last night I shot the pictures beside a pool of water and a waterfall. With Photoshop I lightened up the building a little but the sky turned a very strange nubby "texture." So this afternoon I went over again - at about 4:30 p.m., instead of 5 - and caught a little more light in the sky. It was dim enough, however, so the colored lights showed up. I think these photos will be more effective.
Also found a snowflake graphic in Illustrator that I can save and paste onto the photo. That gave it a wintery feel. I liked it!
I am really stretching myself to come up with something to paste into this blog. Next I will be telling you about my lunchtime shopping trip where I bought a new lipstick and two kitchen rugs. Whoops! Too late. (By the way, what is it about a new lipstick that gives a woman/person the feeling you will look so incredibly different you'll be a new person?)
Our Christmas tree arrived at work today. It's about 18 feet tall, I think. When I came back from lunch it was put up and the whole building smelled sooooo good. Tomorrow it gets decorated.
Here is another tree picture of a ghostly-huge oak tree on the campus where I work. Doesn't it look spooky? It should be full of bats or ravens!
This evening I was visiting a friend's blog and found she likes pictures of shadows. This reminded me of a photo I took in Seattle of an African mask. Hope you like it too - femminismo
p.s. Hope I didn't show the shadow picture before!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I didn't have an outstanding November, but a few interesting things happened and some other goals were met. At Valley Art Gallery the Annual Event went off without a hitch thanks to everyone on the committee. And a lot of great art continues to be sold. I hope the earnings this holiday season will see us through the year with a little extra to spare.
A fund raising event is coming up for the gallery during 2011 since some work needs to be done to the building. Can anyone think of a great money making idea? Something fun that will draw people in to the gallery to contribute to our ongoing success. A catchy name? Special guests? Music? Food? Sit-down dinner???
Monday night I watched "Winter's Bone," and was very surprised to hear the next day that the film had won at the Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Feature awards. The movie is about "an unflinching Ozark Mountain girl (who) hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact."
Jennifer Lawrence plays the girl, and her determination is something to behold. I guess she also has a terrific amount of determination as an actress, since she learned how to skin a squirrel for the role.
Tuesday night, what happened? I guess I cooked some dinner and then worked in my "art studio," trying to get organized. Or maybe it was the other way around.
Now it's Wednesday night, first day of December 2010, and we lit the first candle on the menorah. There may be problems, however, since we are almost out of candles and Hallmark doesn't carry them this year. Maybe this will require a thorough hunting out at some more exotic shops. Oh, be still my galloping heart!
Actually, I'd rather go out shopping early in December than wait till the last minute ... again!
A friend said her family has a new gift giving plan this year: "Make It or Bake It." Sounds good to me as long as I don't get any gold spray-painted macaroni jewelry - femminismo
p.s. Wish I could find some of these rosebud shaped kale!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I took this photo this morning around 7:30. I wonder what it will look like tonight when I get home?
They were nice juicy apples for birds and had been sitting on our counter a little too long for humans - picky, picky, spoiled humans.
I'll see if I can't get a follow-up picture come Thanksgiving morning - femminismo
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Once together often, now passing time together infrequently, we are always on the same page in space no matter the distance. We begin our conversations anew, without a pause, catching each other up on what's going on in our lives.
There is no substitute for an old friend. Someone who knew you when, and accepts you for what you are and who you've become.
Tell me what's in your heart, old friend, and I'll tell you what's in mine - femminismo
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This was our destination on Friday, when the Mister and I headed north for a visit to the Seattle Art Museum and the Picasso exhibit. We rendezvoused with my sister, Judy, at our hotel and then called a cab to take us to the museum. We had food at their Taste restaurant and then went for a spin in the gift shop. I always thought this was the last stop at an exhibit, but we did it first.
Our tickets were for 2 p.m. and the moment arrived. I actually saw the "Portrait of Dora Maar" by Pablo Picasso in "real life!"
My absolute favorite was a tiny oil painting called "The Bathers." (All of these images are copyright, Pablo Picasso Estate, I'm sure!)
We had a great time at the museum checking out more than 150 images, sketches and photos. If you have the chance, see this!
Outside the exhibit was this soft sculpture by Nick Cave, the musician - and artist. I thought my knitting friends might like to see this.
We then went for short walk around town until we found the most wonderful restaurant named Etta's. The Mister had the salmon topped with portabello mushrooms on mustard greens, I had grilled sturgeon with a side of roasted red beets with blue cheese and pecans, and my sister had the ling cod with delicata squash, cippolini onions and golden raisins. It was all terrific!
A good night's sleep at the hotel and then off to Pike Place Market downtown. There was much to see! Here are some pictures ...
the fruit at Pike Place
and down below the Gum Wall!
We did not leave anything. We just were not prepared ... with pre-chewed gum.
I did get my fortune told by Madame X, too. She said I have "patience."
I must sign off for now. My patience with my photos downloading to this blog site is at an end - femminismo
Sunday, November 7, 2010
And the oak leaf hydrangea in the front yard, that has been doing worse and worse every year, really needed to be moved to see if it would do better in richer soil. (I thought it was better to move them in the spring, but recently read fall was better. This way they can build up some stronger roots before the spring growing period.)
Of course, instead of warming up with a couple of turns around the yard and making raking a few leaves or picking up fallen branches, I went right to digging a hole in the back yard for the hydrangea! Whew! Out of breath fast and my shoulder muscles tightening up. I walked to the front yard, got the wheelbarrow and rolled it into the back yard to dump the leaves that were in it. Back to the front yard with the empty barrow and shovel and I got the plant out of the soil just fine. It was almost like it was ready to come and gave me no trouble.
Warmed up now and ready to do more.
I got the bulbs and started digging holes for them. Our Oregon soil has so much clay, I incorporated some compost in with the soil I put over the bulbs. I didn't have any bulb fertilizer, but I am hoping at least doing this much will help them. This part of the garden gets a little soggy, so it's either mold, rot or bloom. I'm hoping for the latter. In this photo it looks like I've buried the tulip bulbs in wet volcanic ash. These pink tulips are now planted with pink hyacinths. I really, really hope they brighten up this area in the spring.
I planted lilies, too, for the summer, and just remembered this minute that somewhere out there in the back yard (!!) I left a bag of calla lily bulbs. I'd better go look for them and take a flashlight. It's dark outside, even though it's only 6:30 p.m. (Today we turned the clocks back one hour and now our bodies are going to have to try and figure out what the heck's going on. Do they have such a thing in other countries?)
It is really damp outside and, like I said, the rains are going to begin again soon. It's nice to know, however, that the plant I've wanted to move for so long is in a new home and beginnings are planted for spring. It was good to be outside, moving around and being close to the earth. I got caught in a "leaf shower" when the wind came up and then it really rained for about five minutes. I kept working though, remembering my one time goal to be a professional gardener. No wimping out just because of a little moisture from the skies.
Well, I found the bulbs outside! Rescued! Now I think I will spend some time with NaNoWriMo - femminismo
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Somehow it makes the wait through winter seem even longer, but it does eventually come.
I loved the colors of these cauliflower heads and after taking a bunch of photos I felt guilty enough to buy some. I did not take the purple one with the small green worm in the foreground.
The chard was even prettier and will make a delicious, nutritious meal tomorrow night.
We had family over Saturday because my niece from West Yellowstone was visiting with her daughter, Brayden, and everyone wanted to see them both.
My son, Peter, and his wife, Jenny, and their daughters Cassie and Zoe, came too. Peter made borscht, roasting beets in the oven and then adding them to tons of other yummy vegetables. We couldn't have asked for a better lunchtime meal..
There were two babies in the house at one time and there were many hugs and kisses exchanged. Happy times.
The soup is bubbling, and after the meal and our main visitors had left, Jenny and I sat down and compared our button collections. The Mister had to laugh, since he felt as though he was watching two young kids trade baseball cards. "I'll trade you these six red buttons for the one white one you have with the rhinestone in the middle."
"OK, and you can have these blue buttons because they match the others you have."
"Well, only if you take these black and white ones!" (I actually made a button bracelet today, but I didn't plan ahead on how I was going to make the closure. However, it's the first one I've done in a long time and I'm allowed a learning curve.)
We had pumpkin pie, too, with vanilla bean ice cream. Yum! Can't wait for Thanksgiving now, and more pie.
Lots of leaves fell last night and this morning there was a covering of them on the sunroom roof. I love this time of the year, with the golds, reds and browns - and the sound of the small frog in the front yard with the giant deep voice.
Tomorrow is November 1 and NaNoWriMo begins in earnest. I'll let you know where to check in to keep up with my progress - femminismo
Thursday, October 28, 2010
When I left the house at 7:45 a.m. it was still quite dark. The flaming trees dimly shone through the gloom and I thought the political supporters twirling signs at intersections at that time in the morning were the most devoted I'd ever seen.
Did I vote for the wrong person, I wondered. Did these people get paid to do this, or are they just ardent? Do they know something I don't? Oh, well. Too late now. The envelope is sealed.
The last two mornings on the way to work it's been difficult; I pay more attention to the trees and flocks of birds than my driving. Yesterday there was fog high off the ground, above the trees. The air was clear, the streets were dry, the leaves were gold and red, and there was a waning moon in the west to set it all off. Beautiful!
There were not many sun breaks today. Yesterday was really pretty nice and I should have gone for a walk ... but didn't. The birds I have been seeing in the sky, swooping through the mists, made me think of a great verb to use for birds in flight: The little birds' wings wiped across gray skies. You've seen this happen, I'm sure.
I love the flocks of smaller birds. Yesterday there was a small string of birds leading a large clump of birds. And the clump slowly started stringing out too, side by side, so it looked as if they were making a giant upside down "T" in the sky. Then, magically, they gather together again forming another clump.
Well, you can see why you don't want to be out at 7:45 a.m. driving on the same road as me!
It was dark on the way home tonight too. Never did get too cheery out. Time to go to Hawaii ... or Brazil ... or New Zealand!
The picture of the red leaves is from last fall. The "Art-Craft" picture on the right is just one I found in a blog file. I don't know if I've used it before, but I'm too lazy to go get something off my camera. I want to go read my book, "The Bad Girl," before it gets too late. Adios - femminismo
p.s. In just a few days NaNoWriMo begins and I once again question my sanity as I endeavor to write 50,000 words before the end of November! Arrgh! Why am I so foolish?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
The painting of the girl by the window, polishing her boots, was featured in a magazine (maybe The New Yorker?) not that long ago. It fascinated me. Little did I know a couple of years would go by before I found out more about the woman who painted it.
And her "dog women" paintings are not denigrating to women in any way. The animalistic, primal, in charge, natural, unaffected, superior animal is viewed by Rego (we are told by her biographers and critics) as a grand stand-in for a woman's place in the world.
I especially love this picture of people dancing - in couples, young with old, alone - on what looks to be near a seashore.
Great dynamics of form, foreshortening is exquisite and the primal feelings are tangible. Oh to be this good! But of course, if you begin at 4!! - femminismo