Tuesday, April 28, 2009

stupid (at least in my opinion) church signs

I saw this church sign on my way out of town last Friday (heading up to the blogpal meetup with Rev SS):

My first thought was: "Why? Is he in some sort of trouble?"

I know such signs are meant to be thought-provoking, but they really just bring out the snarky in me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

the empty nest (& bare bottom) hiking club

Guess Hubby and I will have to rethink our next hiking destination... and/or attire. We just read in USA Today that voters in a region of the Swiss Alps recently passed legislation banning naked hiking. Apparently dozens of mostly German nudists had started sauntering through the Alps wearing nothing more than socks and boots, and this upset many Swiss citizens who called the back-to-nature activity both "disturbing" and "irritating".

I suppose we could still go if we've got the 200 Swiss franc ($176) fine money. But come to think of it, I'm supposed to be wearing sun protective clothing anyway.

Click on picture to enlarge at your own risk. :) And no, it's not me in the photo. I got it from here

Sunday, April 26, 2009

as promised -- the postcard post!

A couple of months ago, Hubby and I went hiking by the Sandy River near Gresham, Oregon, and we stopped in that town on our way home. We decided to pop into an antique store just for the heck of it and I started looking through their old postcards. I ended up buying a couple that reminded me of my childhood (one was of the Badlands in South Dakota and the other one was of a Dayton's department store).

Thus began a new hobby (albeit a very low-key one because at present I only have 8 cards). I love old pictures so it's a natural for me. And the cool bonus is that this hobby is not only affordable but takes up almost no space!

Anywhoo, there are obviously a bazillion postcards out there so I decided to focus on two areas of interest: (1.) the geographic region of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana (because of connections growing up) and (2.) roads from anywhere (because I like 'em as you may have gathered from the title of the blog). Also, I'm mostly interested in the time frame from around 1910 to the 1960's and I especially like it if there is writing on the back.

So... after that intro, here's my first "road" postcard (from Massachusetts, 1956).

And you've got to see the back!

Hilda cracks me up. "Weather wonderful - roads in good condition - food good -car operating ok. Scenery beautiful - beds soft. Did I cover everything?"

I also like the quote on the bottom:
"Take a highroad that leads to a beckoning future --
Tho it leads through the Autumn of life ..." --Farnsworth

How perfect is that?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

blogpal day

Today Rev SS and I met in Olympia (the approximate halfway spot between our homes) for her belated birthday lunch. We decided to take the standard "blogger feet" photo. The cute toes belong to Rev SS and the "Let's go hiking!" feet belong to me.

We also decided to pose with Garbage Puff outside the restaurant, located on the waterfront with our state capitol building visible waaaaaay in the background.

It was a nice day -- warm temps, blue skies, and good conversation. We had a tasty lunch and poked around some antique stores. I recently started collecting old postcards and Rev SS helped me choose a few good ones. (Yes, there will probably be a future 'postcard post'!)

The Bucket List Friday Five!

Singing Owl, after having a bad case of the flu, was pondering the fragility of life. So, she writes: "from the movie of the same name, list five things you want to see, do, accomplish, etc. before you kick the bucket". (She also instructs us to "have fun, and don't think too hard about this one.")

Alrighty, here's my "just off-the-top-of-my-head" list!

1. ROAD TRIP!!! I would take a lengthy road trip meandering through the U.S. and Canada -- but it would focus on the "off the beaten path" areas. I want to see things like Tommy the Turtle in Bottineau, North Dakota. (BTW I would use a fuel efficient, ecologically responsible vehicle. And buy carbon offsets.)

picture from roadsideamerica.com

2. And speaking of the Dakotas, I would like to build a vacation home on 80 acres of land my mother still owns in South Dakota. I would likely not vacation there in the winter, but the other seasons are fair game!

3. I would like to see Offsprings #1 and #2 happily and successfully established in the careers of their choice -- with homes that have large, comfortable guest rooms for Hubby and me to visit (but we would never make pests of ourselves. Well, maybe a little.)

4. I would like to publish (via Blurb) a book detailing our family history/genealogy -- including lots of old photos. (Note, Cavid, I would do a better job proofreading than some people.)

5. I would like to establish a scholarship fund for college students. (I'd have to ponder the specific type of student or major I would be targeting, but it would be great to 'give back' in this way.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To continue that 'earth day' theme...

I thought I would share a picture of the tulips we've got right outside our front door:

I think they are the most bee-yooooo-tiful ones we've ever had. (We got them at the Woodland Tulip Festival I blogged about in an earlier post.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

earth day

Garbage Puff reminds us that "Earth Day" is every day:
(Hmm... maybe the earth is warming because he's sitting on it.)

In any event... in honor of Earth Day, I resumed my bike commuting this week. I had stopped during the winter due to the rain (and/or snow) and darkness. My goal is to do it 2 days a week, weather permitting. (And if I don't wake up too late!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

the proverbial grain of salt

I think we've all been cautioned to take things one reads on the internet with a grain of salt. Case in point! This past weekend I ran across a website detailing a family's genealogy. I don't personally know these people, but as it turns out I am in one of their family tree branches.

I saw that my name was listed. So far, so good. Then Offsprings #1 & #2 were listed, but their names were both misspelled. (Does anybody really name their son Cavid?) I noticed that they got my hubby's name right -- but then stated he was deceased. Yikes! Last time I checked he had a pulse!

Here's the best/worst part: They had me remarried to (drum roll please.....) my stepfather!!! Whoa. That is really not cool.

The family/webmasters had their e-mail address listed so I e-mailed my corrected information. I got a reply thanking me but stating that they were having trouble accessing their website so it probably wouldn't be corrected for a while.

In the meantime, I'm hoping anybody doing genealogy research and using that webpage takes it with a grain of salt. Heck, you need the whole salt shaker for that one.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jesus, Interrupted

I just finished reading Bart Ehrman's Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible. I had read (and liked) Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why a few years ago, so when his latest book popped up on my Kindle, it was oh-so-easy to click "buy"!

In Jesus, Interrupted, Ehrman considers the Bible from a historical-critical perspective (rather than a devotional approach). He considers questions such as: What do the writings mean in their original historical context? Who were the actual authors? (Hint: not whom you might think!) Those authors lived in their unique time and place with a particular set of cultural and religious assumptions. What were they trying to say?

Ehrman details how the Bible is filled with discrepancies, many small but some quite significant. For example, a side-by-side comparison of the four gospels reveals irreconcilable differences in the accounts of Jesus' birth, baptism, and resurrection. (This was not news to me. Many years back--probably 10 or 15?--I decided to read the entire Bible from beginning to end and found such differences myself.) Ehrman asserts that if one tries to reconcile the discrepancies between various books (or even within the individual books), one will miss the larger theological point of the author.

Jesus, Interrupted also considers topics such as what can be known about the historical Jesus and how the 27 canonical books of the New Testament were chosen over the many other letters, Acts, and gospels that existed. I found of particular interest how the religion of Jesus became a religion about Jesus -- and unfortunately anti-Semitic along the way.

People who base their faith on the Bible being inerrant and written-by-the-hand-of-God will likely be threatened by this book. But I have a hunch many of those people wouldn't consider reading it anyway. I think people who would particulary benefit from reading Jesus, Interrupted are those who have dismissed the Bible as being misogynistic, homophobic, and ultimately irrelevant. I think Ehrman, by putting things into the proper perspective, just may help salvage the Bible for them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Five: Household Appliances Edition

Sally writes: As I write this I am waiting for my new dishwasher to be delivered ... So being in a domestic frame of mind I thought I'd ask:

1. What is the one appliance you simply couldn't be without?
I suppose the washing machine, because without it I'd have to go to the laundromat... or have dirty clothes.

2. What if anything would you happily give up?
Our current dryer -- because it takes waaaay too long to dry the clothes. (Well, actually it's more of a venting problem we need to address.) But in any event I'd replace it with the Whirlpool Duet Steam Dryer which would nearly eliminate the need for ironing.

According to the ad, "It uses a gentle, yet powerful combination of mist and heat, allowing the garment to be dry, refreshed, and ready-to-wear as soon as the cycle is finished." Yeah, baby!

3. What is the strangest household appliance you own?
I was stumped on this one, so I asked Hubby who said "the quesadilla maker". (Hmmm... perhaps it's just the foods I create with the quesadilla maker that Hubby finds strange.)

4. What is the most luxurious household appliance you own?
I suppose I'd have to say my Starbucks Barista Aroma Solo coffee maker. It brews just enough for one (because it's all about ME!) You can program it the night before to brew right into the tumbler, then grab it to go in the morning.

5. Tell us about your dream kitchen- the sky is the limit here...
Back in college when I was taking lots of chemistry classes (e.g. organic, inorganic, biochemistry), I decided my dream kitchen would be designed to look like a chemistry lab. And I still think that would be fun. You would measure and mix things with beakers and test tubes, heat water with bunsen burners, etc. I must be a mad scientist at heart.

all images googled

Thursday, April 16, 2009


The Washington Post recently posted their Peeps Dioramas, and, frankly, I'm inspired. Next Easter, I'm definitely going to create one!

This year's winner was "NightPeeps", Melissa Harvey's tribute to Edward Hopper's famous "Nighthawks" painting.

My personal favorite was "Peeps of Wrath" by Diane Page. I think the Joads look great all "peepified".

You can see all of the top 40 finalists here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

hooray for the cinnabon people!

I have a soft spot for cinnamon rolls. (Or maybe I'm getting a soft spot because of cinnamon rolls...)

In any event, I heard that Cinnabon is giving away free mini-cinnamon rolls on April 15th. It's their "Tax Day Bites" promotion. (Is that a clever title, or what?!)

Details here!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is it Monday already?


Googled the Jetsons

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's Easter...

...and I hope everyone has a very happy day.

Oh, and, Offsprings #1&2,
Rumor has it the Easter Bunny (pictured above) visited your apartments. Let me know how well the ol' bunny did at hiding your baskets.

vintage bunny from crafts.lovetoknow.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dr. J?

I didn't have a chance to do the Friday Five this morning. (And that's probably a good thing because I didn't have anything profound to contribute.) I was up early taking Marble to his vet appointment. He's an "old man" now with some kidney issues and arthritis, but holding steady.

Then Hubby and I drove to a neighboring small city for an afternoon of continuing education classes. It was held at a clinic/surgical center, and I noticed this painting in the hallway: (I couldn't stop myself from snapping a picture when nobody was looking!)

I suppose they chose this particular work to reassure their patients that they "partner with the Lord". However, if I were their patient, I think I would find it disconcerting.

I mean, if I'm stumped by a difficult or unique case, I consult with a here-on-earth colleague or refer to a specialist. Sitting in my office with a perplexed look waiting for divine inspiration doesn't strike me as the best course of action for the patient (and not likely the best use of my clinic time either).

Of course one could say this is 'art' and it shouldn't be taken so literally. But I think one could also say this is more kitsch than art -- not unlike dogs playing poker.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

yet another sign of spring...

Garbage Puff begged us to take him to the Woodland Tulip Festival this past weekend.

Actually about 95% of the tulips had not yet opened, so it was a bit more like the Woodland Stem Festival... but the ones that were in bloom were very pretty.

Monday, April 6, 2009

lunch with latifah!

You may recall on my post this past Saturday, I reviewed the movie The Secret Life of Bees and extended a lunch invitation for this coming Tuesday to Queen Latifah (because I think she would be great "BFF" material).

As it turns out, she reads my blog! Who knew?! And Latifah said "Why wait until Tuesday, Girl?!" So yesterday, Queen Latifah joined Presbyterian Gal (we couldn't leave her out!) and me at the local Sizzler. I know what you're thinking -- that place is certainly not classy enough for the three of us (and indeed we were overdressed). But Latifah is partial to their salad bar.

Thanks to Katie Holmes and Diane Keaton for the use of their bodies...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I think spring is actually here now...

The weather has been beautiful this weekend. Yesterday morning I rode my bike down to the lake. I saw Harry McHeron, who let me get fairly close:

But then I crossed the line and he took off (as usual).

My old pal Nutty McSquirrel was much more friendly, coming right up to pose with his Easter bonnet. (I told him it was a bit early to be donning it, but he didn't seem to care.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

to bee or not to bee...

Last night Hubby and I netflixed The Secret Life of Bees. He 'owed' me a chick flick after his 10,000 B.C. debacle. :)

The film is based, of course, on Sue Monk Kidd's best-selling novel of the same name. Set in South Carolina in 1964, it's the tale of Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning), a 14-year-old girl who is haunted by the blurred memory of the day her mother was killed. To escape her troubled life with her jerk of a father, Lily flees with her caregiver and only friend Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) to Tiburon, South Carolina -- a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. She meets up with the independent and intelligent Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alician Keys), and finds solace and meaning in their world of bee-keeping and the Black Madonna.

The Black Madonna, central to both the novel and the film, served several functions. It symbolized both mothers and divine female power. It spoke to the importance of faith, of believing in something larger than oneself. And, it underscored the importance of telling our stories.

I preferred the novel, which seemed 'deeper' and somehow more real than the film, but The Secret Life of Bees was definitely good Netflix fare. Plus I rarely miss an opportunity to see a film that features Queen Latifah. She strikes me as very good "BFF" material, and Queen, if you are reading this, how about lunch next Tuesday?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Five: Time Out Edition

Sally writes: Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL ... So faced with a busy week:

1. What restores you physically?
A nap always works, although a hot shower is good too. For some reason, I tend to get my neck in weird positions at work with eye exams, so a trip to the chiropractor does the trick there.

2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?
Spending time and sharing my thoughts and feelings with family and friends.

3. What encourages you spiritually?
Getting out in nature. (For me, the best part of skiing--although I haven't been in a while--is getting to the very top, breathing in the crisp air, and taking in the panoramic view.)

(Mt Hood photo from ski-bums.org)

The other thing that "encourages me spiritually" (and I can't quite articulate why) is attending a well done theatre performance.

4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
There is a piece called Search Me, O God that has a really lovely part for the oboe (which I played when our choir sang it).

5.There may be many services for you to attend/lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favourite day in Holy week if so which one is it?
I'm still not connected with a church, but the last Maundy Thursday service I attended back in the days of RevSS was meaningful.