Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Five: Who or What Lifts You Up?

For this week's Friday Five, Mary Beth, inspired by the singing of a colleague, asks:

What lifts you up when you are low or troubled? Who helps you remember that you are not alone, it's getting better all the time, etc.? Your five responses can be people you know, people you DON'T know, music, places, foods, scripture, surprises, something you do for someone else. It could be a pair of slippers. It could be a glass of water.

Bonus: Do you like the song "Jingle Bell Rock?" If you do, who do you prefer to hear sing it?

1. Christina and David! They are so much fun to hang around -- and always so thoughtful. (e.g. When they came home for Christmas break last night, they brought flowers and a red velvet cake for our anniversary gift!)

(picture taken this summer at Uncle Maynard's food pantry program in South Dakota)

2. Cats! Sure, Soots is a little 'goofy upstairs', but you gotta love him!

(Soots in a rare moment of calm lap-sitting with Christina)

3. Music! Have I mentioned I like Carole King? ;)

(picture from Mother's Day 2010 concert)

4. My bike! A good bike ride is always uplifting, although this time of year I don't get out nearly as much as I would like.

5. This time of year I looove Christmas books and movies.

Bonus: I'm not that much of a country music fan, but I do like the Randy Travis version of Jingle Bell Rock -- mostly because Mike likes it so much!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

blogger meetup!

Yay! It was great to meet Mompriest! And of course it is always fun to see Serena! Here we are...

Monday, November 29, 2010

there's still time...

...for a November blog post! (Looks like I am now in the once-a-month blog club!)

Anywhoo... got some snow right before Thanksgiving. Here is Soots experiencing his first snow:
(And yes, he is wearing his leash and asks you not to make fun of him for that.)

Luckily, C&D made it home for Thanksgiving -- which kept the "Thanks" in Thanksgiving for me!

Stay tuned for December's post! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Five: Connecting

My sputtering on-again, off-again blog is... ON today, as I play the Friday Five. Jan's questions were inspired by her reading of Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam and thinking about relationships and the Golden Rule.

Here we go:

1. Self: Who was your hero/heroine when you were about ten years old?
The first person who came to mind was Roy Rogers! Although, this choice is probably more accurate for age 7 or 8 or so. Roy always tried to do the right thing, and got to ride his palomino, Trigger -- cool stuff.

2. Family: Who are you most like? Who is most like you?
I am probably most like my grandmother -- at least I hope so because she was awesome! :) I think my temperament is similar to hers, and I share her appreciation both for the importance of family and for 'the land'/nature.

3. Friends: How do you stay in touch?
My first thought is: 'not well enough' -- because life seems so busy! However, going out to lunch or coffee is one way to keep in touch. Facebook is also nice, especially for 'old' classmates, etc.

4. Neighborhood, community: What are ways you like to be involved?
We know our neighbors and are friendly with them, but it is mostly a 'chat out by the mailbox' kind of thing.

5. Job/church: Do you see a need that will help in developing connections?
My job involves connecting with people all day long -- mostly one on one in the exam room. But often there are family members who come along for the eye exam, and I always appreciate that.

Bonus: A link or anything else about connecting.
Yay! An excuse to post a Carole King song!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Five: Storms of Life Edition

Here's me... scanning the horizon for storms. (OK, this was just an excuse to use a picture from our recent trip to South Dakota.)

I'm baaaaaaaaaack (again). My good blogpal, Processing Counselor, suggested a captcha to help solve my Asian spam dilemma, so I'm giving that a go.

Now onto this week's Friday Five!

Martha writes:
I'm listening this morning for word of Hurricane Earl. Is he coming to visit, or will he bypass my part of Maine and move further Downeast, or veer toward Nova Scotia? Should I buy those bottles of water, just in case wind brings branches and power lines down? And how many times will the tracking map change today?
Herewith, a Friday Five about the storms of life:

1) What's the most common kind of storm in your neck of the woods?
I grew up in North Dakota where the most common kinds of storms were blizzards in the winter and tornadoes in the summer -- each possessing their own special charm. Living now in the Pacific Northwest, I am trying to think of what type of "storm" we get here... and I'm coming up short. We really have super mild weather. (Of course we get lots of rain at times, but not really storm-like rain. We've also had a mild earthquake or two.)

2) When was the last time you dealt with a significant power outage?
I'd have to go back to my childhood and Dakota blizzards for this one. However, when we lost power we had a generator. On the up side we had power and warmth, but on the down side it was so darn loud that our hearing was in jeopardy.

3) Are you prepared for the next one?
Sadly, no. Because of my past experiences (see #1 and #2!), I haven't felt motivated to get a disaster kit together. But if a big earthquake hits, I'm in trouble.

4) What's the weather forecast where you are this weekend?
It's beautiful today (sunny, mid-70s), but the rain is probably rolling in tomorrow.

5) How do you calm your personal storms?
I like music and talking with friends.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

you get busy, and the weeds start popping up

Well, it's pretty obvious my blog has, as of late, turned into this:

And like an abandoned lot, people have started throwing junk into it. I have had an inordinate amount of what I will call "Asian spam" with comments such as this "過去的事早已消失,未來的事更渺不可知,只有現在是真實的" that contain links to probably either viruses or porn or both.

So, for now (until I decide what to do with my poor little lot), I am going to disable comments.

(Thanks, non-spammers, for hanging in there!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Five: Decisions, Decisions

Songbird posts this week's Friday Five. She has been thinking about how we make decisions. She writes: Let's keep it simple and go with five word pairs. Tell us which word in the pair appeals to you most, and after you've done all five, give us the reason why for one of them.

Before I start, I just want to interject that I'll bet RevSS would not play a 'forced choice' game. She would answer "They are all ANDS".

1) Cake or Pie
This it tough, but I'm going to go with pie.

2) Train or Airplane
Train, and we need more of it!

3) Mac or PC
PC but only because I don't own a Mac so I can't make a truly informed decision here.

4) Univocal or Equivocal
Equivocal -- life just is.

5) Peter or Paul

And the reason for one of the above...
I like the train because you can walk around, go to the dining car, plug in your laptop, and watch the scenery.

cartoon from here

Sunday, July 18, 2010

if you build it, they will come

Christina put together this cute little bird house (which I think was a present from Doug), filled it with seed, and placed it on the railing of their balcony deck.

picture by David

Sunday, July 11, 2010

holy toledo!

Two weekends ago we went to the Winlock Egg Day Festival. Today we had the distinct pleasure of attending Toledo Cheese Days. (Yes, there is a definite food theme here.)

Sadly we missed out on the free cheese sandwiches at the Toledo Presbyterian Church, but we made up for it by having a different dairy product... ice cream.

My mom had a hot fudge sundae:

Mike had an ice cream cone:

And I went for the chocolate shake:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

fourth of july flea market

Part of Longview's yearly 4th of July celebration is a flea market with lots of vendors lining the lake. I enjoy poking around but don't usually buy too much (although historically I have had a bit of a weakness for bags/luggage -- go figure). Anyway, this year I found a "Cat Sitter" DVD for $3.00. The maker of the DVD basically just lined up small animals (gerbils, birds, fish, etc.), turned the video camera on, and let it roll. I thought Soots and Mr. Tumnus (who is here visiting) would probably enjoy watching it for a few minutes, but they went absolutely NUTS for it! Here is one shot of Soots:

Best $3.00 spent ever. Although if Soots ends up shredding our tv screen, it will be the worst $3.00 spent ever.

(picture taken by Christina)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

what could be better than egg day?!

WooHoo! We went to the Winlock Egg Day Festival today! Winlock is a small town about 25 miles north of here, and they have this event every summer. I've been meaning to go for the past 20-some years, and we finally made it! (Obviously it wasn't the very highest priority in my life or we would have been there sooner...)

Anyway, the weather was beautiful, and we had fun watching the parade, shopping, eating, and posing with chickens.

This was the view on the way home:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

views from the text message road

A cool thing about text messaging is the virtual and/or vicarious travel feature. Tonight I was pedaling my bike on the dike road and I got a text 'out of the blue' from Karen K. saying they were in North Dakota. (She knows I grew up there.) She said she was taking back all previous nasty comments about the state, and that it was "fantasticly green" and "lovely". She sent a picture of their close encounter with a bison:

Pretty cool! (Although I admit to a bit of jealousy.) :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

keepin' grandma in the dark

Oh that Louise...

Eagle River, Wisconsin
Aug. 16, 1938

Dear Cousin,
Don't know whether or not you have heard that I am vacationing in northern Wis. so will drop you a line. Came a week ago Sunday with Stiles from Dav(enport). Last week we were near a lake about 18 mi so. of Superior. Sunday we bathed in Lake Sup. This week we are near a lake about 24 mi. north of Rhinelander. We plan to start home early Sun. a.m. It has been quite cool up here. Have been sleeping under blankets and have had fire every a.m. and evening. How is Iowa weather? If Grandma doesn't know I'm up here, better not tell her until I get home. With love, Louise. The scenery is beautiful. Especially the moonlight on the water.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Five: Work Out Edition

Mompriest gives us this week's Friday Five! She writes:
For this Friday Five let's ponder the various ways we work out (or not), physically, spiritually, and/or psychologically.

1. Do you work out physically, spiritually, or psychologically? (I'll let you define what that might mean to you)
I don't think any of my activities would be strenuous enough to use the term "work out". :)

2. Are you more inclined to join a gym, or a book club?
I would be more inclined to join a book group -- actually I would love to find a good book group to join! I'm less inclined to join a gym because I prefer getting my exercise in the great outdoors.

(That's me in Colorado with Christina & David.)

3. Are you more inclined to read self-help books like Gail Sheehy's "Passages" or spiritual books like Richard Rohr or Theresa of Avila? And if so, what is your favorite?
Hmm... I don't really read self-help books (maybe I should!) -- I'd be more likely to read spiritual books. (Actually I read Black Elk Speaks some time ago and that was cool...)

4. Are you a loyal fan of a sports team? Or do you join the bandwagon when the local team is winning? And, if so, which one?
I enjoy baseball, and I root for both the Minnesota Twins (team of my childhood) and Seattle Mariners. When they play each other I don't care who wins!

5. Or do you lean more toward having a favorite theologian/Spiritual writer or self help author and if so, who? And, why.
In terms of theologian-type writers I like Marcus Borg and Kathleen Norris (although I haven't read anything lately by either of them).

Bonus: What was the last play-off series you watched and did your team win?
The only thing I can think of is Dancing with the Stars! And obviously that doesn't count, so no bonus points for me!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

ya just gotta laugh...

...but in an existentialist/absurdist sort of way:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Soots the Jungle Cat

Our lawnmower was broken and we finally got a new one... but then the weather was rainy so it was difficult to get out and cut the tall grass. But Soots didn't mind -- he enjoyed playing fierce jungle cat. (He says to ignore the leash part.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

a couple of new postcards...

When we were in McMinnville recently, we stopped at an antique store and I found a few postcards.

This one doesn't fit either the 'road' theme or the geographic area on which I concentrate, but I do allow myself to pick up postcards in the "miscellaneous" category if I find something that strikes my fancy. And this one struck my fancy because I love Cary Grant! I wonder if that is Cary's sporty green car in the driveway.

This next one caught my eye because it features Donaldson's in Minneapolis. We went to Minneapolis on buying trips for the drugstore a lot when I was growing up, and I used to remember shopping at Dayton's and Donaldson's -- but Dayton's seemed quite a bit better (and in the late 60's cooler) to me. I'm actually not sure if this is that same Donaldson's company or not...

The postcard is over 100 years old -- postmarked September 8, 1909.
The writing is a bit tough to read, but it says something like:
Have lots to tell you, but do not know where to start. Love, Borghild

That's my exact thought sometimes when I am trying to catch up with people!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

may 18

Today is the 30th anniversary of the big Mt St Helens eruption. Back in 1980, we were in Forest Grove, Oregon attending optometry school. Here is a picture we snapped from campus. (That's one of the dorms in the foreground.) The photo wasn't taken during the initial eruption, but during one of the ash eruptions that followed shortly thereafter.

Little did we know that we would eventually be living even closer to the volcano...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

E.T. and friends

This weekend was the fun, kooky, and (yes, even) informative UFO Festival in McMinnville, Oregon. Mike likes to go, and I'll admit it's a good time! The weather was beautiful and people watching was excellent. ;) One of the speakers was Travis Walton, the UFO witness and abductee on whom the film "Fire in the Sky" was based. I hadn't seen the movie before, so it is on our Netflix list now. (As a bonus it features James Garner, whom I really like.)

This is Travis talking about those pesky aliens who abducted him:

A cool part of the festival is the parade in downtown McMinnville. Here is an alien float...

And an alien family...

And even an alien dog...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

thanks for voting...

The photo of Christina snagged second place in the Tulip Photo Contest! There were 502 entries! (I think the prize is braggin' rights.)

List of the 5 winners here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friday Five: Family Trees

Sophia had a recent "genealogical adventure" which inspired this week's Friday Five...

1. Do you have any interest in geneaology?
Yes! Several years ago I did some research and was able to get lots of good genealogical information. I haven't done any recent work, but I would like to get back into that and create a family tree book.

2. Which countries did your ancestors come from?
My ancestry is entirely of the "Germans from Russia" group. (Quick definition: In the 18th century, the Russian Czar invited German citizens to settle near the Black Sea and Volga River areas. In the 19th century, many of them moved on to America. Quicker definition: Think Lawrence Welk.)

3. Who is the farthest back ancestor whose name you know?
That would be Wendell Hoerth and his lovely wife Otilia -- both born around 1583.

4. Any favorite saints or sinners in the group?
My most famous relative is Bob Newhart.

5. What would you want your descendants to remember about you?
Hmm... I guess if I ever do complete my family tree book, they would fondly remember that I gathered and preserved that information for them!

Bonus: a song, prayer, or poem that speaks of family to you.
I'm going with this clip of the closing credits of the Lawrence Welk Show. That show reminds me of family -- both mine growing up and my own kids who watched it (on PBS) as they were growing up. And I love Lawrence's accent -- it reminds me of 'home'. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

an experience of a lifetime

Yesterday I had a glimpse of heaven (without having to go through a pesky near death experience first). Yep, yesterday was the Carole King and James Taylor concert in Seattle. I keep searching for an adjective to describe it, but keep coming up short. AMAZING will have to do.

Mike, my mom, and I met Christina and David in Seattle and had lunch -- at which time Mike revealed a surprise. We had purchased our tickets back in January (and I was excited they were floor seats), but unbeknownst to me Mike had done a significant upgrade for my mom and me for Mother's Day. For a charitable donation (a yikes! amount but for a good cause), he got us access to CK & JT's sound check session, a reception with hors d'oeuvres, and Stage Seats -- and ours were in the first row!

At the end of the sound check session, Carole and James came and talked to our group for a bit. We got James' autograph on our commemorative book, and he signed David's CD too. Way cool! The concert was, seriously, the best one I have ever been to. Carole is my favorite performer of all time (and James rolls in at number two), and they were just incredible. I could go on and on... but I'll just share some of the pictures I took.

And here are a couple of pictures taken by the stage seats...

(Mike is up for "Best Guy Ever" award, by the way!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

vote for christina!

Christina has a photo entered at the Tulip Photo Contest. What could she win? I have no idea! But it would be cool if she won, so go vote! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

old home movies

One other thing I did while on my "blogbatical" was play around with old home movies from my childhood -- using some of that footage to create new small movies. For example, I found a section which included my cousin and I made him a video birthday card.

Continuing the theme from an earlier post of giving my mom a hard time (!) -- here's a little movie I did saluting her parenting skills. It's especially fitting with Mother's Day right around the corner. Enjoy!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Five: Friendship

Kathrynzj "spent the better part of last week on a continuing education cruise with a group of revgals", so today's Friday Five is about friendship.

1) Do you remember your first best friend? What did you do together? Are they still in your life?

Debbie D! (That's her on the left at my 9th birthday...)

Oh gee, what didn't we do?! There was lots of playing outside (bike riding, swimming at the pool, etc.) We formed a two-person club, the "N.O." (Nosy Organization) and made a little clubhouse in her garage attic. We played with Barbies (which may explain my cake) and had epic Monopoly battles (notice I did not use the word 'game'!) I lost touch with Debbie over the years and haven't been able to find her! I might have to hire a private eye!

2) Did you ever have to move away or have your best friend move away from you?
We moved in the middle of my junior year in high school from North Dakota to Montana, but Debbie and I weren't "best" friends then, just "regular" friends! I definitely missed the friends I left behind, but made some really good new friends.

3) Are there people in your life now that you can call 'friend'?
Yikes, I hope so!

4) What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends?
Go for coffee, meet for lunch, bop around antique stores, break glassware while transporting it in the van (yes there's a whole story there!), etc.

5) What is a gift friendship has given you?
The gift of 'connection', if that makes sense.

Monday, April 26, 2010

catch up

Yep, I'm going to catch you up on some of the things I did while on my "blogbatical"...

In March the fam went to Las Vegas for spring break (in honor of David's 21st birthday). Here we are walking around the Wynn Casino:

Actually the setting there looks sort of Pacific Northwesty, so I guess we could have stayed home for that! We had a great time though -- went to lots of shows, etc. As a family we broke about even on the gambling (due to the superior blackjack skill of Christina -- Who knew?!)

Every trip my mom usually makes one attempt to do me in.
Blog readers might remember this from a trip to Alcatraz a few years ago:

On this trip, my mom made her move when I got a little too close to the edge of one of the ponds at the Flamingo...

My mom is a wily one! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the road has reopened

About 5½ weeks ago I took a blogging break. Both my time and motivation for blogging had been decreasing. Apparently I haven't been the only one. I've noticed on the ol' web that the golden age of blogs is probably behind us.

A June '09 New York Times article cited a Technorati survey that found "only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned..." Why, you ask? Well, there are probably a number of reasons but The Guardian's Charles Arthur gives one of the biggies: "Because blogging isn't easy. More precisely, other things are easier – and it's to easier things that people are turning." --e.g. Facebook (more here)

Here's some advice from a Wired article entitled Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004: "Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug."

Well that's succinct.

So what the heck am I doing back? I'm not really sure. I guess I wasn't ready to say bye-bye to Views from the Road just yet. So I'll head down this road for a little while longer -- at least until I see what's around the next bend for me.

picture above: one of my old postcards, "Inspiration Point"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the road will reopen

Due to semi-popular demand (I flatter myself!), Views from the Road will be back -- but only after I take a much needed recharge-the-blogging-batteries break. So I plan to be offline for a full month (from today). On April 25th I'll ease on down The Road again.

(I tried to find a countdown timer without the ad, but no such luck.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

trails end at views from the road

It's time for a blogging break. I'm not sure when (or really even if) I'll be back posting. (Comments are being disabled, but feel free to email me.)

So, blog friends, in the words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans...
Happy Trails to you, until we meet again

Friday, March 12, 2010

Frday Five: Spiritual or Religious?

Yesterday Mompriest attended a conference led by Diana Butler Bass, and that sparked this week's Friday Five. Mompriest invites us to share five thoughts, ideas, or practices that we consider to be "religious", then five we consider to be "spiritual."

Here are 5 I would put in the "religious" category:

1. Responsive readings during church. I am going to write in the past tense here since I am presently unchurched... but I often found responsive readings devoid of significant meaning (at least on a personal level). And maybe my being a child of the 60's gives me a big nonconformist streak, but I don't like being 'forced' to say something I may or may not agree with.

2. Standing, sitting in unison at specified times during church services. Again, I'm sure my nonconformist streak doesn't help this one.

(googled image from here)

3. Singing some of the hymns. I just flipped open a hymnal and randomly saw: "Good Christians all rejoice and sing! Now is the triumph of our King." The 'King' stuff always seems weird to me. (On the other hand, I have no trouble with Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken...)

4. My former church always insisted on 'doing' communion the exact same ritualistic way. This made communion 'religious' instead of 'spiritual'.

5. Going to church simply out of habit...

And here are 5 things that are, for me, in the spiritual category:

1. Being out in nature. There is a 'spirituality of place' when one is hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc.

(from one of our Mount Hood area hikes)

2. Music. And I often find 'secular' music significantly more meaningful and spiritual than 'church' music. Just one example that comes to mind is Carole King's song Tapestry.

3. Theatre. Quite often I find plays to be transcendent. One example would be Broadway's Wicked. Another would be WWU's production of Dog Sees God in which Christina played Marcy.

4. Reading. A good book (fiction or nonfiction) can also be transcendent.

5. Petting Soots. Yep, spiritual! :)

And as a bonus, since I picked on the church earlier... When church 'services' are 'gatherings' and have an experiential focus, that can be spiritual!