Wednesday, September 30, 2009

still for hill...

This made me smile, so I had to share it! (And it's only about 20 seconds, so what have ya got to lose by clicking?!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

sunday drive

This morning my mom and I were faced with a multiple choice question:
Should we:
(a) Go to church
(b) Clean our respective houses
(c) Read the newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee
(d) Head out on a road trip

We opted for (d) as the beautiful weather ruled out (a), (b), and (c).

We did a loop on country roads passing through small towns (some of which we had never visited before). My camera behaved better today. I decided if it is incredibly bright and sunny outside AND the object being photographed in no way moves, the camera can handle the job.

Anyway, here's one of the views from the road (ooh, ooh, my blog name!). (That's Mt St Helens off in the distance -- the sky was a bit hazy).

The little town of Vader decorates their jail with flowers:

(Actually I don't think it is really a jail anymore.)

Here's the river in Pe Ell, Washington. We heard Doc Severinsen in concert in Seattle and he said he grew up in Pe Ell, but he might have been pulling our collective leg.

And here's my mom outside the restaurant where we had lunch:

Yep, it was a nice day. I'm glad we opted for choice (d).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

blur = grrrrrrrr

The Empty Nesters went hiking at Silver Falls State Park (in Oregon) today. It's a beautiful area and features a hiking trail that takes you to 10 waterfalls in 7 miles. We hiked a little over 5 miles, saw 8 waterfalls, and called it good.

Here's the first waterfall from the front:

And you can hike behind it too:

I took lots of pictures, but my rackin' frackin' camera was really acting up so the majority didn't turn out. (My Christmas list is growing!) So, sadly, you won't get to see Presbyterian Gal photoshopped going over one of the falls in a barrel.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Five: Fall

Singing Owl writes:
The Autumnal Equinox has just come 'round again... There is something so nostalgic about this time of year... The nights grow cooler, crops are harvested, for some of us the leaves are beginning to change colors...

For this week, let's share some memories along with some hopes and expectations.

I love autumn -- it's my favorite season! (Although sometimes I say that at the start of summer. And winter. Well, you get the idea.) Anyway... Since I recently discovered some old family photos in a trunk at my mom's, I'm going to answer these F5 questions using some of those pictures!

1. Share a Fall memory.
A couple of favorite fall memories are jumping in a big pile of leaves and heading back to school. I don't have a picture of me jumping in leaves, but here's a picture of me heading back to school. (I'm not sure why I needed the big briefcase. Sheesh!)

And here's a school photo from 4th grade (taken in October '65).

2. Your favorite Fall clothes--(past or present)?
In the past, plaid figured prominently. Here I am with my cousin Cheryl, taken late 1970.

3. Share a campfire story, song, experience...etc.
The only thing I can think of here is sometimes there would be a bonfire after football games. No picture...

4. What is your favorite thing about this time of year?
One of my favorite things is/was trick-or-treating at Halloween. I loved it as a kid, I loved it when C&D were growing up, and I still love answering the door and seeing the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. (Here's my brother and me in 1965.)

5. What changes are you anticipating in your life, your church, the season changes and winter approaches?
The main change is that Hubby and I return to "empty nesting" this time of year. Sigh.

Bonus: What food says "AUTUMN" at your house? Recipes always appreciated.
Autumn is soup time! Here's Debbie Delzer and me enjoying some soup at her house. (OK it could be cereal, but that doesn't fit my answer!) Notice my sweater--also a fine fall fashion.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my two cents

I don't know about you, but I'm getting really tired of political hyperbole overshadowing reality. Of course, in the world of politics this is nothing new. Witness this old postcard:

the front:

and the back:

We're obviously facing some big issues, and it's frustrating how ├╝ber-partisan posturing limits our ability to have a substantive and rational discussion.

That is all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

empty nest adventure

Early Saturday morning was cool and rainy. But the blue sky made an appearance later in the morning, so the Empty Nest Hiking Club set off on a hike to the aptly named Gnat Creek.

You can see our hike (and share in our surprise) here:

OK, so I took some creative liberties.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

feel the love

I discovered a treasure trove of old pictures in a trunk at my mom's. The picture above, taken in 1968, is of me at age 11 with Katze (my first cat). I like how calm and happy I look -- in direct contrast to Katze's "get me the hell out of here" expression.

Katze was usually a mellow cat. For real. But I remember when this picture was taken, Princess (our newly adopted Boston Terrier) was being held by my brother about 2 feet away. Katze was not amused.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Five: Where on the Stairs?

For this week's Friday Five, Jan uses A.A. Milne's poem, "Halfway Down" (from When We Were Very Young). I think he should have entitled it "Halfway Up", but I digress.

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn't any
Other stair
Quite like
I'm not at the bottom,
I'm not at the top;
So this is the stair
I always

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up,
And isn't down.
it isn't in the nursery,
it isn't in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head:
"It isn't really
It's somewhere else

(Here's the youtube link of Robin the Frog singing it on the Muppet Show.)

And here's the prompt:
Thinking of your childhood as a stairway, when did you feel (and how did you feel):

1. at the bottom?
A low point on the stairs was when my grandpa died unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 65. He was such a great guy with a positive outlook on life, and everyone seemed to love him. (His service was held in the high school gymnasium and it was totally full!)

2. at the top?
Ah, I'd have to go with the carefree summer of '72 -- lots of time spent at the lake with friends, etc.

3. halfway?
Hmm... I guess I view the staircase as a 'road' of sorts (and I'm obviously 'into' roads!), so most of my childhood (and life in general) would be 'halfway' -- with part of the journey behind me and part of the journey ahead. And of course, there's the good and the not-so-good along the way.

4. At this point in your life, where would you place yourself on your own stairway?
See #3! I'm just happy climbing the stairs / heading down the road!

5. Identify a place for you that "isn't really anywhere" but "somewhere else instead."
This would have to be when I'm reading a novel. For example, I just finished The Help (on my Kindle) by Kathryn Stockett. It transported me to the South in 1962. (If anyone is looking for a good read, I'd recommend it!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

pic of the day

"Pardon me... Do you have any Grey Poupon?"

photo by Offspring #1
taken in Colorado

Monday, September 14, 2009

because it's time for a postcard...

Oops, looks like I've been neglecting the postcard posts, so I'll fix that by sharing one from my "road" collection. This card is postmarked July 20, 1909 and shows the bustling intersection of Strong Avenue and Spear Street in Argentine, Kansas.

Theo is relaying some news to Miss Bessie Gunn in Okarchie, Oklahoma:

Art had a fire this morning about five o'clock. They think it started in the matches back of the bread case. account of it in paper. Not so very bad. But will be closed a week or so.

I think Art could have kept his business open and just sold the bread as toast. *rim shot*

Saturday, September 12, 2009

just askin'

Is it mean to point out that C&D are saying goodbye to this...

and this...

and saying hello to this?

Yeah, I thought so.

googled the library picture; the rest are mine!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

the morning paper

It's been great having C&D (Offsprings #1&2) home from college, but *sniff sniff* they head back on Saturday. And that means Mr. Tumnus heads back too. I'm going to miss that li'l kitty.

Right now Mr. Tumnus and I are in the back yard. I have been reading the morning paper and Mr. Tumnus has been hunting crane flies. (He's darn good at it, I might add.)

Today's paper has some good 'human interest' stories. One article is about a globe-trotting left-handed fly fisher from Oregon. She just turned 100 years old and still loves to go out fishing. The best part: she continues to use the same rod she used in 1959. (I still use the same snow skis I used in college so I can sorta relate.)

Another story is about a 99-year-old Oregon woman who won a prize in a weekly drawing at her neighborhood Bi-Mart store -- an air rifle! For some reason (probably the mental image) this tickled my funny bone. Unlike the woman in the first story, this woman isn't an outdoor enthusiast. And, she can't even bring the prize into her retirement center because they don't allow weapons. The store doesn't usually exchange prizes, but they might make an exception.

The headline that did NOT tickle my funny bone is this: Washington Colleges Lead U.S. in Swine Flu Cases. Yep, our state "easily leads the nation in the incidence of swine flu among college students" -- nearly triple the rate of the next highest state, Georgia. And no vaccine yet. Dang. Think we better pack some hand sanitizer...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

end o' summer

C&D (Offsprings #1&2) are only home for another week, so we are cramming a whole lot of summer into the remaining time. Yesterday we went to the zoo where I made a new friend (and looked very touristy in the process):

Today it was 'fun in Portland' day and tomorrow we head for the coast.
Hope everyone is having a good Labor Day Weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Five: Recharging

Sally's laptop battery recently died, which got her thinking about energy and recharging batteries. This Friday Five asks: "what/ who gives you energy?"

1. Is there a person who encourages and uplifts you, whose company you seek when you are feeling low?
When I'm feeling low, I usually like to wallow alone in my crankiness for a bit. When I'm out of that little phase, I do have a great family and friends (you know who you are!) who are supportive and encouraging. Marble the Cat is also a good companion. He understands cranky.

2. How about a piece of music that either invigorates or relaxes you?
Wow... it's hard to single out one piece of music or even one artist! (Although if forced on the artist my knee-jerk response would be Carole King.) I really like music from the 1965-1975 time frame; jazz is great; so is classical.

3. Which book of the Bible do you most readily turn to for refreshment and encouragement? Is there a particular story that brings you hope?
Hmm...I could pick something, but to be really honest I'd have to presently answer "none" and "nope". I do love reading though -- and reading in general is a source of refreshment for me.

4. A bracing walk or a cosy fireside?
A bracing walk -- i.e. a hike! I love to "play outside" (which is important when a good hunk of your workday is spent in a window-less exam room). I have recently been dropping not-so-subtle hints to my family that I want a canoe. I think the Empty Nest Hiking Club should add a new division: The Empty Nest Canoe Club. That would be a great way to recharge the ol' battery!

See--this one is even a red Christmas color!

5. Are you feeling refreshed and restored at the moment or in need of recharging, write a prayer or a prayer request to finish this weeks Friday Five....
We have just recently returned from vacation in Colorado (plus both Offspring #1&2 are still home), so I'm feeling happy, refreshed, and restored.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

check out the pretties

Offspring #1 has just launched a shop on Etsy, the "global marketplace" of handmade items. She created some nice earrings which you can see here. Don't feel obligated to buy anything, but do feel obligated to visit her site! :)