Friday, February 29, 2008

"look before you leap" friday five!

It's Leap Day!! Whether you're one of the special few who have a birthday only once every four years, or simply confused by the extra day on the calendar, everyone is welcome to join in and play our Leap Year Friday Five.

Tell us about a time you:
1. Leapt before you looked
I'm thinking about someone I dated in college... 'Nuff said.

2. Leapt to a conclusion
When Offspring #1 volunteered at Best Friends Animal Rescue, she brought home this picture:

After seeing the kitten, I immediately concluded that Offspring #1 was right -- we DID need to adopt him. What other conclusion could have been reached?!

(Yes, I know I've posted that picture before... but I just think it's so darn cute.)

3. Took a Leap of Faith
Hubby and I took a leap of faith and opened a 'cold start' private practice in Colorado when we graduated from optometry school. This was a huge (and in many ways risky) undertaking, but it turned out well. After 5 years we sold the growing practice to another husband/wife optometrist team (what were the odds?!) when we moved to Washington state.

4. Took a literal Leap
I take literal leaps whenever the Empty Nest Hiking Club goes hiking!

5. And finally, what might you be faced with leaping in the coming year?
With Offsprings #1 and #2 in college, Hubby and I will be faced with converting their rooms to a library/media room and mini-gym respectively. Hahahahaha! Gotcha, Offsprings 1&2! We'll continue to leave your rooms alone.

Monday, February 25, 2008

middle name meme

Jiff tagged me for this meme:

Here are the rules:
1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.)

OK, here goes:

M: Montana is where I did my undergraduate work. Carroll College to be exact. Go Fighting Saints!

A: Asparagus is one vegetable I do not enjoy. (It does not quite match the evil of peas, but it is close.)

(He may look cute, but beware.)

E: English horn is an instrument I can play... but if you heard me perform, the noise might Exasperate you. (Whoa! TWO "E" words -- that's a bonus!)

I will tag Presbyterian Gal, Dust Bunny, and Processing Counselor ... if'n they want to play.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

the case of the missing mountain

The Empty Nest Hiking Club went snowshoeing up at Mt Hood Saturday. We decided to go on the Trillium Lake trail. According to our snowshoe book, it's a 5 mile loop that, at the approximate midpoint, features a picture postcard view of Mt Hood from across a frozen lake. It was a beautiful day with blue skies, and we were ready for the spectacular view with my camera and Hubby's camcorder. Only one problem. When we got to "the spot", a huge bank of clouds had rolled in, obscuring the view of the mountain. And the clouds decided to stay put for the remainder of the day.


Even so, it was still a pretty trail and we had a lot of fun.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

animal updates

For those of you following the saga of Nutty McSquirrel...
The latest field research (i.e. bike ride) has uncovered the fact that ol' Nutty is totally out of acorns. (It was bound to happen -- he was eating them like there was no tomorrow.) However, he won't be going hungry because somebody has been leaving him peanuts. Yep, there are empty shells all over the place!

In yet another animal story (I feel like Marlin Perkins of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom)...

We've got an eagle down at our local lake! I suppose he could possibly be Stephen Jr. (Stephen Colbert's bald eagle) trying to find his way home. In any event, it was a big surprise to spot an eagle there. In fact, I nearly tipped over my bike doing a double take. He was a ways up in the tree, but I think you can spot him: (Of course, you can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

And finally... Marble has a new bed. We've noticed it's been getting more difficult for the lovable old geezer to get in and out of his 'garage' bed, so I bought him a new one with two levels -- he can use the bottom one for sleeping or as a step:

Friday, February 22, 2008

heavenly friday five

Singing Owl offers some heavenly questions for this week's Friday Five:

What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):
1. Family get-together

Family gatherings to celebrate e.g. an anniversary or graduation are cool. Our family is fairly small yet spread out, so it is 'heavenly' when we can all get together in one place and time. It is best when the location is some place fun like the Black Hills or Hawaii. Also, there should be plenty of good food.

2. Song or musical piece
This is a tough one because I find lots of music heavenly. I like jazz, classical (especially if it highlights the oboe), and 'oldies' from the '60s and '70s. One example is Carole King's "Way Over Yonder". (And hey, that song even has a heavenly theme!)

3. Gift
Letting me loose in a book store with a hefty gift card would be heavenly. Also, I'm a sucker for high tech gadgets.

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.
Food: my grandmother's chicken noodle soup
Shoes: TEVAS!
Vacation: Austria is pretty much synonymous with heaven in my book.
House: Something sprawling (yet environmentally friendly in spite of its size) which has a scenic view -- the windswept prairie, a meandering river, or an ocean would do nicely. It must have lots and lots of windows to enjoy the scenery, and there should be a great sound system.

5. And for a serious moment, what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like? What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"
My entrance should be heralded by a fanfare of trumpets and choir of angels. Oh wait, the question specified "serious". OK, then I'll say that I would just like family and friends who have gone before me to greet me.

picture "Road to Heaven" from here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

na-na-na naaaa

On Monday, Presbyterian Gal posted a great Jethro Tull song from 1971. (You can listen and watch here)

Her post got me thinking about all those terrific tunes from the late 60's and early 70's. So I present another classic song, Hey Jude... as performed by a 'new voice'.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I was looking around the house tonight thinking I really need to do some more de-junking. Geez, we sure seem to accumulate 'stuff'.

This photo is evidence that back in college days I seemed to do pretty well with just my books, clock radio, and skis. (And maybe a few posters -- although what was I thinking with the A Star is Born one?!)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

on the go!

Offspring #1 is winging her way today to the University of Wyoming in Laramie to take part in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, "a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States". I'm hoping she has uneventful travels and a terrific week!

**After reading mompriest's comment... I should clarify that this represents Offspring #1's region, not the entire country.**

Offspring #2 and his girlfriend drove from college through some "epic" traffic to spend the long weekend at home. I'm hoping they have more clear sailing when they head back Tuesday morning.

And now Offspring #2 and I will be "on the go" as we head out for a bike ride!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

there's more to life than a shiny frying pan...

Just saw the movie Mona Lisa Smile, a "pretty period film that combines a quaint pedagogical tale with a feminist dissection of traditional female roles in 1950's society". (Full synopsis here; trailer here) . Basically it's a Girl Power! version of Dead Poets' Society. For the most part I liked the film, and it underscores just how far women have come since the 50's.

Hats off to all the trailblazers -- past, present, and future. (And whatever one may think of Hillary, she should -- in my opinion -- at least be given credit for being a present day trailblazer.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

my marvy modified marriage meme

Diane tagged me for this marriage meme. (I 'modified' it -- It seemed a bit lengthy, so I took the liberty of ditching some questions.)

Where / how did you meet?
We met in the registration line at optometry school. Always unorganized, I had nothing to write with and had to borrow his pen. (Actually, "borrow" is a euphemism. I stole the pen out of his shirt pocket.)

How long have you known each other?
Yikes, 30+ years.

How long after you met did you start dating?
Not long... (It was the only way for him to get his pen back.)

How long have you been married?
Yikes, 27 years. Guess I'll keep him. :)

When is your anniversary?
November 1st, 1980.

Where was your wedding?
Aberdeen, South Dakota (I guess I could explain why.... but, nah!)

How many people were in your bridal party?
2 bridesmaids and 2 groomsmen... and here we are:

Are you still friends with them all?
One of the groomsmen was a 'fill-in' at the time (long story), and we've lost track of him.

Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?
No, but his parents did. (The Jewish/Gentile thing was a challenge.)

Most special moment of your wedding day?
The reception was at a disco my mom and stepdad owned at the time -- so that was fun.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Minneapolis, the "mini-apple".

How long were you gone?
About 5 or 6 days.

If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
We would have gotten a better photographer.

Greatest strength as a couple?
I just asked Hubby for his opinion and he said, "mutual respect". Yeah, I like that.

Greatest challenge as a couple?
Dealing with things beyond our control.

Who literally pays the bills?
He does... I hate dealing with money.

What is your song?
We don't realllllly have one, but we both usually think of that snappy Al Jarreau tune, "Just the Two of Us"

OK, I tag anybody who wants to play. (And you'll have to go to Diane's to see the entire list of questions...)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

ye olde book meme

I was tagged for this book meme by Diane and Mompriest. So here goes!

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Alrighty, the nearest book happened to be Rebecca Lee's debut novel, The City is a Rising Tide. (Amazon link here.)

Find Page 123.
Yep, I can do that.

Find the first 5 sentences.
Yep, I can do that too!

Post the next three sentences.
"Especially at sunset, I'll be able to read, and then pivot my head, and see out the window. Because when I read, I don't want the window right there in front of me, because it's too distracting, but I also want to be able to gaze off when I've enjoyed a passage in the book and I want to pause just to soak it in."
I tried to peer through the gloaming and see if Peter and Mr. Tetres were coming back soon.

Wow -- now there's someone who has given a lot of serious thought to optimal window placement for reading.

Tag five people
I think a lot of people have already been tagged, so I'll just pick one! I'll tag "PS".

feb 14th!

Happy Valentine's Day to my blog pals!

Is it just me, or does the girl in the vintage valentine look somehow familiar? I can't quite put my finger on it...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

as seen on my starbuck's cup...

"The Way I See It"

"There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women."
--Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State and Ambassador to the U.N.

Monday, February 11, 2008

as seen at the eye doctor's...

Perhaps it doesn't take much to amuse me, but I got a kick out of a shirt one of my patients was wearing today:

So as soon as I got home, I had a little chat with Marble.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Monday already?

Wow, the weekend was a busy blur. Looks like it's back to work for me.

(Nah, actually I like what I do.)

cartoon from here

Thursday, February 7, 2008

happy birthday, sinclair lewis

Do you recall your first "light bulb" book? By that I mean the first book you read where the ol' light bulb went on and you realized there was more to it than just the plot and/or characters. You discovered symbolism... or irony... or metaphorical language. In short, you discovered depth, and voila! there was a whole new world out there in literature-land.

Well that book for me was Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt which I read in high school. It is a satire on conformist, middle-class American life, and (even though published in 1922) still seems relevant today.

I've always been sort of grateful to my pal Sinclair, so when we visited Minnesota a few years back, we made it a point to stop in Sauk Centre, his childhood home. We did the whole tourist thing -- went through the interpretive center, toured his house, etc. I even picked up a first printing of his 1949 novel, The God-seeker. (He was sort of losing his touch by then, but oh well.)

Anywhooo... I heard on the radio today that it was Sinclair Lewis' birthday. So a tip of the hat and blow of the candles to Mr. Lewis!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I hate to post back to back youtubes, but this one was waaaaay too good not to share.
(I've always loved this Bowie song, and it fits perfectly for Election '08!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

highbrow meow

Hamlet, as it was meant to be performed. By cats.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

books 'n' movies

First, the movie!
Hubby & I went to the Kelso Theater Pub (what's better than a movie with pizza and the beverage of your choice?!) Saturday night to see Atonement. I hadn't read the book on which it was based, but probably will now. I thought the film was excellent (stunning visuals, strong acting) -- and the ending was both unexpected and poignant. (And that's all I'm gonna say about the ending!) After the movie, I think you can't help but do some philosophical/ethical pondering on the topic of righting wrongs in life...

Next, the book!
Today I finished reading the novel Bee Season, which was part of my Christmas present from Offsprings #1&2. (There is also a film based on this book, but I haven't seen it.) Myla Goldberg tells the story of a rather eccentric Jewish family. (Actually, eccentric isn't the half of it. This family would be a strong contender for Dysfunctional Family of the Decade.) I'm not sure how Goldberg pulls it off, but she manages to tie together Jewish mysticism, spelling bees, Eastern religious cults, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Whew! This book also had an unexpected and poignant ending.

Hmmm... Guess this was the weekend for unexpected and poignant endings -- witness the Superbowl outcome!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cape Disappointment

The Empty Nest Hiking Club had high hopes to try out the new webs (yeah, that's hip talk for snowshoes) today, but the weather was totally uncooperative -- including high avalanche risk, sno park closures, etc. The situation could be summed up in one word: disappointment.

So we decided to embrace that word and head to the coast to hike at Cape Disappointment. It was a nice hike which included visits to two lighthouses in the area. Two minute video below if anybody is interested...