Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Market

On Saturday, Doug and I went to the Holiday Market. Santa's reindeer were being cared for while he made an appearance. Not certain if this is Dancer or Prancer.
Santa and elf greet a young toddler. I bought a necklace from this woman. It is a fiery orange/red with the word create written on it. Perfect for me as I am experiencing this new found love for art. I also found a pair of hammered sterling earrings that I wanted and I had them in my hand and turned to Doug and said "would you like to get these for me for Christmas?" There was a woman standing to the side of both of us and she laughed and looked up at Doug and said "yes. the answer is yes, you want to get those for her for Christmas." Doug shook his head and took the earrings, telling me to keep walking and that he "might" get them for me.
Leaving the market, I followed this horse and buggy and shot this photo through my windshield.
Let the holiday season begin!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Come ye thankful people come.

Originally, we thought Doug's family was coming here for Thanksgiving. That was way back when I started to work on the kitchen. Have you noticed I haven't mentioned the work on the kitchen recently? That is because we heard that Doug's family was not coming here for Thanksgiving. Then, I invited my family and they said yes. Too late to get the kitchen done. Oh well.
I stayed up way too late last night finishing cleaning the house. Then up at 7 a.m. this morning. Doug's sons (& Erin) came by for breakfast, then we scurried about getting ready for the second shift. Then my parents and my brother arrived. Then my son. I made this little pilgrim boy & girl many years ago in ceramics class.
So long ago that they are signed, "cl."
table in entry-way hall
Tom, Bradley, Doug, Mother, Dad
le table
This explains that feeling in my stomach...ham, roll, turkey, another roll, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry salad, corn, creamed spinach and sausage dressing.
(not pictured: several glasses of tea, cherry cobbler and pecan pie)
Bradley being contemplative
Chelsea - waiting while we eat
o.k., now you can get into Dad's lap
oh, that feels good!
The fam has since left, I had an hour nap. We ate, we all tried to clean up the kitchen (as I write, it is still a bit messy). We looked at photos, showed everyone Chelsea's latest tricks, I helped my brother upload a facebook profile photo. We also sat before the fire for a bit. There is nothing like a wood fire to warm your bones! My sister was with her daughter's family so she called to say hello.
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving, '09?
Money enough to pay the bills a bit left over for extras and vacation. (notice I didn't say wealth)
job with benefits and health insurance
family (missing you today, Laura!), the fact that my brother is doing a lot better and that I still have my parents, both of my children are successful
friends - old and new
roof over our heads
food in our bellies (a lot of food, today!)
a car that is paid for and still running
animals that adore me, no matter what
my duggles
political and religious freedom
What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My very first show!

We recently had a lunch-time Christmas bazaar at the university.
It was just a few hours, there wasn't any fee to be there, so it was a perfect opportunity for my first show. my sign
left side of display
right side of display
close up of tags
a card to cheer a frazzled colleague
birthday card for a friend
I was so happy when I made that first sale! I made $55.00 total. I was worried that I would set up and just sit there and not have any sales. Even if I had not made any sales, it would have been a great day. I had lots of positive comments, so I felt great! Thanks to everyone who bought from me!
I just started on this art journey a year ago and I have taught, am on a design team and now have sold some of my work. I can't wait to see where this journey of discovery takes me.
(Nicole P.- please take note that I said Christmas Bazaar, not Holiday Bazaar.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Greg Mortenson in Indianapolis

If you are a regular reader, you will recall that recently I read the book Three Cups of Tea. Shortly thereafter, I posted a book review. I was so excited about what this man is doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan - promoting peace through education. In the late '80's, early '90's, I wrote a column for my hometown paper called "Flip Side." It was a human interest column, usually about my children or general observations. My editor and I forged a friendship and through the years, she has asked me to write a piece for her.
I opened my email in late October, and there was a request that had been sent to her to be in Indianapolis and interview Greg Mortenson. Her request was a simple one, reading something akin to: "Hey Miss Smarty-pants English major, would you like to cover this for us?"
I absolutely flipped out. I couldn't believe it. I started to tell everyone what I was going to do before I had confirmed with Mortenson's publicist. Then I started to think what if this doesn't work out and I look like a fool?
So, I sent an email telling his publicist that I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down and interview him. For the next couple of weeks, I was holding my breath. It didn't seem the day would ever arrive.
Greg started speaking in Indianapolis at the Convention Center at 8 a.m. I live a little over an hour from Indy, had to find the Center, secure parking for the day and then find the room that he was speaking in. I was up bright and early. Driving to Indianapolis, the moon was setting as the sun was rising. It was beautiful.
After securing my press credentials, I set out for the room where he was speaking.

Telling the audience about the children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He has spoken on Capitol Hill, to crowds of thousands
and he was going to sit down and speak to 'lil ol' me.

Greg Mortenson and me. 11/2/09
Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous or scared. I would say "I may barf on his shoes, but it will be from excitement, not fear." There was no barf. I felt as if I was sitting down to chat with an old friend. I had read everything I could get my hands on and viewed every video of him produced in 2009.
Greg's people stood were nearby. There was a menacing looking manager turn body guard type who paced as we talked and like a cheetah closing in on its prey, he circled ever closer, checking his watch every couple of minutes. Greg was ignoring him, so I tried to ignore him, too.
Thanks to my editor friend, the opportunity to sit down and interview Greg Mortenson was one of the most exciting moments I've had for quite some time. If I sound like a gushing school girl, so be it. Anyone who knows me knows I wear my feelings on my sleeve. On that day in early November, my heart was glowing warmly for all to see.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Climbing Grandmother Mountain

On Saturday, October 10, we were nearing the end of our trip. On Sunday we departed Idaho to drive back to Portland to catch our flight out. We traveled all night (you don't want to hear about that) and arrived in Indianapolis on Monday, the 12th. And I have been playing catch-up ever since.
But first, I'll tell you about climbing Grandmother Mountain. It was two hours from Doug's brother's house, so we were gone for most of the day. The temperature was quite brisk. I believe it was around twenty-four when we started out. Doug loves to wear long-johns and as he didn't have any with him, he pulled the next best thing out of his pack and put them on over his hiking pants. We all had a good laugh.
Doug with bear themed pajama pants.
It is always good to have your photo taken with a trail sign.
We hadn't hiked for long when we were rewarded with some gorgeous views.
I like photos on mountains that scare the be-jesus out of my mother.
This is where we had lunch. It was lovely, but very cold and windy. We had bread, salami, cheese and of course, apples!
Currently my facebook profile pic.
A lot of great hiking trails. Unfortunately, a lot of hunters, too.
Doug and his brother on the summit.
Doug's brother prefers to dress as if he is a french gentleman hiking in Europe.
Us, on the summit.
Trail view.
It was a long, cold, sunny, blustery day. It was beautiful.
And so very nice to return to the farm for a roaring fire in the huge fireplace and some wonderful warm dinner.
A perfect way to end our visit to the apple farm.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


On the 8th of October, we were nearly to Idaho. There was some beautiful scenery along the way. I kept wondering how they did it, how they traveled across this barren, rocky land in wagons pulled by oxen. Very difficult for me to imagine. The ground is extremely hard and there are rocks everywhere.

I call this photo "Past meets present." Beautiful!
We drove further than we needed to, but soon enough turned back
and found Tim and Diane's farm.
The pigs on the farm get a variety of treats including apples (of course), bread and whatever leftovers there might be. Also a bit of regular ground "pig food." I am not a pig owner - so all of this was very interesting and a bit foreign to me. None of the pigs are named, as they are food for the table.
Farm art.
I loved the chickens. There was a great number of them running about. I thought they were beautiful. I only brought home one feather and wished upon my return that I might have brought more. I'm not certain what I would do with them - but they are so pretty.
I don't remember the donkey's names, but they were always standing very near to one another. The oldest one is nearing his fiftieth birthday. I believe that is what Tim said. Nonetheless, I know that they are both old. How old in "donkey years?"
This is now Diane's facebook profile pic.

We went out the pacific northwest to pick apples and we did. Doug and I both loved the family apple boxes and Doug wanted to dismantle one and bring it home on the plane.
They have been at this for quite some time. They do not spray. Tim uses some sort of pheromone coated wires that he twists on the branches to confuse the male moths so they don't mate with the females and lay eggs (I think that is how the story goes). It was amazing to me how many apples could be on one little tree.
It was an apple-wonderland. We picked and ate all that we wanted. We had apple sauce and apples with french toast and apple syrup. After about three days of this, our tummies were on apple-overload.
And here is the happy apple-picker. It was perfect fall-like weather. Something akin to leaf-raking weather. Crisp and cold enough for your cheeks and hands to get cold. Cold enough that going into the house for a snack and something warm to drink and a warm mug to wrap your hands around felt delicious.
I will give a prize to the first person who can tell me exactly how many chins I'm sporting in the above photo.
The fragrance was intoxicating.
The view from in front of the house.
And Doug's brother, Tim, let him drive his tractor.
It just doesn't get any better than that!

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