Sunday, November 19, 2006

Got Wind?

Well, we were able to get outside a bit yesterday during one of the non-rainy days we have seen in a while. It was chilly, but VERY windy. We started out by heading up to hwy 14 on the WA side of the Columbia River. Beautiful drive, I must say. Our first stop was at Beacon Rock, the remains of one of the many mini-volcanoes that used to line the Gorge a long, long time ago. It stands about 840 feet high and looks like there would be no way to climb it. Fortunately for us, there is a switchback trail all the way up the side to the very tip top. Quite an amazing bit of trail work, I must say. It was chilly but the worst of it was the wind. It must have bee a steady 50-60 mph up at the top. It chilled us to the bones! After that, continued east to a little known area called Hamilton Springs. Right around this time of year, and as we found out probably another week, it's home to some amazing fall salmon spawning. We saw about 10 fish out there and a couple of dead early spawners. They were all pretty active but not quite ready to spawn yet. In a week or so, the area will be home to over 300 fish. We are planning on going back after Thanksgiving. Hopefully things are more productive. I'm putting in a picture of one of fish we saw but I'm not sure what it is. Possibly Chum? Maybe my fish guru sister can enlighten us all. After that we headed a bit more east to a little town called Stevenson. We walked around some of the shops while we waited for the local brewery, Walking Man Brewery, to open up. While in a flower and garden shop, the owner asked about the hat Anne had on. When Anne told her she made it, she said she could easily sell them in her shop. She gave Anne her card and told her to think about it. Could this be the start of a new business for Anne? Yoga bags and winter hats maybe? Only time will tell. We finally made it to the Brewery and had a small pizza and a couple of pints of brew. I had a great hoppy IPA called homo erectus and Anne had a black cherry stout. That one was good enough for us to buy a growler and bring it home. All in all, a nice day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Made it!

Okay folks, we're a little hesitant right now, but I suspect the jitters will pass as the new year rolls around. Anyway, the big news. Ahem.
Team Bubba's $1080 check was cashed this past week for a spot in the 2007 Hood-to-Coast relay! We can't wait to reunite with our MS/LA comrades, and enjoy another fun-filled day-1/2 of running and stinking. :)

...the part you can't train for.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Waiting in the wings

I know, I KNOW it's pathetic, right? Dreaming about Christmas before Thanksgiving even gets here. Remember in fifth grade how everybody who had straight hair wanted a perm, and everybody with curls wished they had straight hair like their girlfriends? Well that's me (the former, specifically). I want to indulge in The Christmas Box (lights, decorations, etc.), Christmas candy (you know it's already out there), Christmas crafts, Christmas baking, and Christmas everything else.
Why? Because I have homework. Sob...
[thesis proposal 'write up' x5 versions - 25 Wellness Fair guests to figure out and invite - 12-page paper due] sniffle...

My favorite Christmas thing to do is work on Paul's stocking. It's fun because I can grab fun stuff here and there and not worry about spending a fortune (though it does add up). A good collection of tiny goodies, one that has to be bundled or thrown in an empty box in order to lug out of the living room, is imperative! It's also nice if at least one of the items provides some child-like fun (see exhibit B).

Exhibit A. selections from Paul's stocking from years past.
[brewing gadgets, a tape measure, old fashioned toy, boxer shorts, work desk gadgets, a gift card, a favorite snack, funny magnets, silly putty, and of course, a chocolate orange in the toe]

Exhibit B. fun toy -- there's a
Battle Bot in each Bro's hand (that came out of a TODDLER's stocking, I believe). The battle occurs in the empty box top.
I used to start collecting stocking stuffers throughout the year, but so far this year I've got one (1) item. Oh well, that's good incentive for me to Get Back TO WOrK (so I can go shopping already)!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fall has Fallen

My, time sure flies when you're working hard! We're doing stuff; Paul was granted permission to help regulate the Willamette 2 weeks ago, about the time it started raining. I have been cranking out papers for school and trying to organize a campus wellness fair, as well as keep my creative mind moving with sewing etc. -- anything to avoid tackling my thesis full-on. Next weekend we're taking a day trip to watch the wild Chum Salmon spawn, and then climb some huge rock.
I've been seeing some beautiful fall images ("beautifall") online lately, and have been meaning to catch a few of my own. So far, the Japanese Maple et al. leaves in my Blue Fescue, and the one above from a few yards down are all I've got. The recent wind and rains have pushed most of the leaves to the ground. I guess we missed the season down South, because we can't stop marveling...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yummy or Gross?

Breakfast: Nancy's Lowfat Yogurt with warm pumpkin puree & homemade pumpkin walnut granola.
Drat the clouds & flash (Mom, tripod?).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ladies, may I see your IDs?

Really? Sure!
That was the exchange a couple weeks ago between the waiter and our group. I didn't think it would ever come to that point, when we'd cross our fingers under the table every time we ordered a cocktail.
The next thing I didn't expect was to look at pictures of myself in college (not that long ago), and think that I looked younger -- and chubbier, Paul lovingly mentioned. It's funny because throughout my '20s, I looked at old pictures and thought, "nope, I still look the same." Not sure when that changed... my 30th b-day?

This picture of Paul was taken on our flight home from his Mom's house in San Francisco in 1997. He'd just gotten his pony tail (yes folks) chopped off, and I love his hair this length. You can still see the curls! I still have that scary hair ball somewhere. His hair's so short now that he's been asked "when he got back from deployment."

This one was taken outside my Grandma V's house in Mt. Pleasant, IA, nearly exactly 10 years ago. Those are 2 of my 3 brothers of various prefixes (step, half, whole, etc.).
Paul let me borrow his VW Fox to drive up & visit one fall weekend (isn't that sweet). I think that's the longest my hair ever got. Isn't it funny how I relate everything to when our hair was a certain length?! Ahh, memories.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Novembers

Ahhh, Fall is really here now. The plants come indoors, the space heater comes out, the trees are getting bare; it's soup weather. To boot, I enjoyed watching the cutest little flora, fauna, and 'cowgirl' yesterday for Halloween. In the afternoon our neighbor came by to share some delicious pumpkin bread. Paul & I ate dinner at the dining room table, bean with bacon soup, while listening to Sirius' Spooktacular radio, waiting for trick-o-treaters. There's leftover soup and treats. Yum.

But egad! Today being today means that the stores are now free to begin X-masing. I must hurry up and buy/make, wrap with matching ribbon, find the right sized packaging, and mail presents before December 13 (unless I want to end up paying obscene rates)! Forget about Thanksgiving; there's no time. And don't even get me started about how much schoolwork I have to do -- before December 8th. It's just, it's just, there's sooo much to do, and Christmas is practically here!

Oh, that's a pretty display. Sigh. Okay. Whatever happens between now and 2007 happens, and whatever doesn't get done is just fine. Life is nice that way. (sideways smiley face)