Aug 30, 2007

Ace Hardware Store Haiku


We were discussing every imaginable thing over a delicious salad luncheon before our monthly book club meeting. Conversation wandered from the construction on our home to the knob that fell off of one ladies cabinet...the brass screw was broken.

After trips to big box stores and little box store, she arrived at the Ace Hardware store. The clerk actually found her what she needed. One (1) brass screw of the right length and she paid almost nothing for it. She does not have 25 screws in varying sizes rattling around in the junk draw. The knob is on the cabinet. It is just amazing.

Women, believe it or not love a hardware store. We can find pot and pans, squeegey, mops, screws, light bulbs and paint. If you don't know how to repair something, chances are some helpful man/woman will be will to sell you the tools and give you a free lesson on how to use them.

We actually decided that we all love the ACE Hardware store on 185th at TV highway. There was poetry first, well more of a limeric, and then being the cultured and educated women we are, there was HAIKU (smile).

The Cabi-net Door
lost the darn knob
Never more

Thank you very much ACE Hardware
(store)


Mary Jo and Susan.

Have a great day!

Aug 29, 2007

Paint Your Wagon (door)!!!!!


After doing some further research into the paint situation and the condo front doors I have found Bluestone & Hockley (This is the property management group for our master HOA.) has the paint pallet binders. So if you are interested in painting your front door on your condo (which is your responsibility) you should contact Heather at Bluestone & Hockley to get your color. I am not certain if it requires a visit to their office or not. I also am not sure if you need to call your building representative but I would suggest that you do. Just be on the safe side and they really want to know what you are up to.

Heather Hutchison, Association Manager
503.222.3800

Aug 28, 2007

September 11...Fly your flag with pride!


A friend sent me this email this morning inviting everyone to fly the American flag on September 11. The idea here is that we pass the word on to at least 11 people.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States.


Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this sixth anniversary of our country's worst tragedy. We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms....

I would suggest that we might fly flags everyday of the year. I look forward to the day that we have a holder for our flag so it can fly upright and free.

b


Aug 27, 2007

Sherwin-William and the Paint Color....SURPRISE!!!!!







I was in for a shock when I went to the Sherwin-William Paint store!!! I was looking for those now famous "Accent Colors" for our condo's front door. If you just tuned in, you need to know that we are not allowed to paint our front doors unless we use the "accent colors" that were used by the original builder. We were told at the last condo association meeting that all we needed to do was go to the Sherwin Williams Store on 10th Avenue here in Hillsboro, Oregon to find the colors AND we are responsible for caring for our front doors when they become shabby looking. It seemed like really good information that we could work with.

Given this reality, my husband and I ventured out Saturday to the paint store to buy our quart of "permitted" paint. The conversation with the clerk went something like this:

Clerk: Can I help you?

Me: Yes. I am told that Sherwin Williams has the list of accent colors for the condos at Orenco Station.

Clerk: Why do they keep sending you people here?

Me: Gasp!!!

Clerk: We only keep lists of that sort for 2 years. When was your condo built?

Me: Seven years ago.


(HE SEARCHED ON THE COMPUTER BUT COULD NOT FIND THE LIST)


Clerk and me: (silence) (more silence) (yet more silence)

Clerk: Maybe they wanted you to pick out your own color and that is why they sent you here.


I don't know what to say. I need to apologize to you readers for any inconvenience this has caused you but I gave you information that the board member in charge of this sort of thing gave me.

(SILENCE)

NOTE: WE CHOSE A COLOR THAT WAS AS CLOSE TO THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE AS WE COULD. NOW THAT I GET IT HOME I THINK IT IS TOO BROWN. WE WILL USE IT ANY WAY! But if we decide not to does anyone want to buy a can of Sherwin-Williams paint????

Aug 25, 2007

A condo association board Haiku!


Board judgement clouded.
Wisdom is the sun through clouds-
The sun warms us all.

by the neighbor


I love the idea of haiku although I have not perfected the art. It seems that saying a few word with a huge impact can be liberating and poignant.

We have had so many discussions on this blog about CC&R's and how the "Interpretation" of them play out in the real world. One of The Neighbors shares our disappointment in the very nature and tone of our boards attitude of control. We all would like to see a board that encourages people to make their places look like home. We would like to hear them say, "Use your deck, put in one one rose bush you can call your own, put pots on your patio on the corner units and make our "homes look beautiful". Be careful where you place things so people won't fall and don't make a mess. But people can fall over door mats, cracks in sidewalks, door jams and stairs!!! That is why we have insurance folks.

Please don't see things "through clouds" Let the sunshine in..."it warms us all."

b

*afterthought: Dear board, If you have a problem with ONE unit please talk to those people. Don't make us all suffer. It doesn't work in the classroom and it doesn't work in real life!!!

Aug 24, 2007

"My Wonderful .mac Account" plus information on internet scam

Note of caution:

My husband and I received an email from a credit union in Arizona asking for private information. After checking with the credit union we found out it was a scam!!! Be very careful about what you open and what you respond to. There is probably not a free computer out there and certainly credit unions do not operate over the Internet!

Do you have a back up account somewhere on the web that keeps all your precious information safe? I happen to have a .mac account and pay a fee to keep it on a yearly basis. But up until yesterday, I did not actually understand how it worked or even if it was worth it.

Then my computer went on a binge of misbehavior that sent me into a fit of useless computer work. It would not let me write or move and would not accept my password. All I could see was a screen full of pixels. I broke out in a sweat and imagined a computer gone forever and maybe, no new one replacing it. I was fit to be tied.

We did actually have to reformat the whole thing. It was two days of no computer and I was having withdrawal problems!

Then, while I was gone this morning, my husband finally got it back up and running, sans address book, keychain, calendar and on and on. That was when it occurred to me to go to my .mac account and sync everything to my computer, bringing back all those things that had been going the other way for quite a while. Back came my address book and everything else it allows me to store.

I will be keeping that account!!!!

I just thought you would want to know.

b

*Note: For those of you that read my blog yesterday before I could get it edited, please forgive the way it looked. All I could think to do was publish and correct later. Thanks for staying with me.

Aug 23, 2007

Hillsbor Public Library

I love to post pictures with my blogs. I should have taken a picture of the inside of my purse this morning. After visiting the library yesterday with my granddaughter, it was full of pamphlets, book markers and information on our NEW library services.

If you have not gone to the Hillsboro Public Library on Brookwood, you need to make plans to do so very soon. (Go down Butler west until you hit Brookwood, turn right.) The move our city made to this new location was just perfect. The space is huge!!!! You can buy a cup of coffee or a snack, buy used books, cruise the stacks or get information on just about anything. If they don't have what you need out with pamphlets, ask the librarian to help you. I have used this service over the years to find out about companies my children have applied to for jobs and others that were seeking property when I sold real estate. The services they offer are just astounding.

While I was visiting them yesterday I found (and put in my purse):

A list of concerts that will appear at the Glen and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center.

August 30 Duke Robilard (blues man)
Sept. 20 Mark Atkinson Trio (acoustic trio)
Sept. 28 Misty River (female string quartet)

Sewer Backup Information (City of Hillsboro)

Web addresses:
http://hillsboromaps.ci.hillsboro.or.us (Hillsboro Maps)
www.Willinet.wccls.lib.or.us (digital library to download books, etc)

Hillsboro Library guidelines including information about online holds, etc.
Competitor Northwest (free magazine about fitness, marathons, biking, etc)


How to get free tickets to:

Children's Museum Chinese
Classical Garden Japanese Gardens
Pittock Mansion
Portland Art Museum
Rice NW Museum of Rock and Minerals

Cooperative Library Services (allows you to pick up or return books to any Washington County Library)
Hillsboro Public Libraries News Letter


Many information publications were in Spanish and the library has an extensive collection of books in different languages, allowing bilingual citizens to pick up books in their native language. Add lots of computers for the public's use, willing volunteer to assist you and you have a wonderful place to go. I have always loved the library. My granddaughter and I checked out her stack of magazines with the self-service machine and were out of there in a flash.

Have a great day. b

Aug 17, 2007

coffee hour


When the women of our neighborhood gather for coffee, you know that there will be some of the most interesting conversation and discussion of your whole week.

This neighbor is a very involved woman in the summer time. There is family, recreation, doctor's appointments, home and community. So I am usually late, not dressed beautifully like everyone else and just a little tired. School will start soon and then the day will slow down almost to a stop.

Yesterday, when we gathered at Carolyn's, the room was filled with conversation and folding chairs. Plans were being finalized for an outing to the Japanese Gardens, a lunch and of course a ride on Max. Book club plans were discussed and deserts were eaten.

Carolyn has a beautiful cottage both inside and out. Inside little lights sparkle on the mantle and in the kitchen. Her displays change continually and are always a feast for the eyes. On her deck she has lovely flowers. A large planter is situation on a pot holder stand that is like the one I discussed earlier.

As I understand it Carolyn's house also the sight for a weekly game of cards hosted by her husband. They aren't able to get out much so the world comes to their cottage. It truly has been a blessing for our neighborhood!

Thank you Carolyn!

b

***I received a note from Dee yesterday about the pot hangers. She said:

Barbara,

I was at Fred Meyers recently. In front of the store were 2 free standing flower pot hangers. They looked to be very sturdy and held a lot of pots. The cost was $39.99. They were at least as tall as I am and had big healthy plants. They were very attractive. If you are out and about, take a look.

Dee

I will be going over to check it out. As you all know, I am in the market for something to hang plants on. Thank heaven Dee was reading and knew what our dilemma was.

Aug 14, 2007

Warm Weather Finds


The neighborhood gets really quiet when the weather is hot! Windows close, air conditioners come on and we settle in. Some neighbors do not have air and so they love the evenings when we can open the windows and listen to the night.

We love to look around the web for interesting and beautiful blogs. Today we found several blogs you might want to take a look at. Garden Voices has some beautiful pictures and is a feast for the eyes. We borrowed this image to whet your appetite.

If you will go to the Blogs by Women in the side bar and click on it you will find a great variety of blogs. So many of these are very interesting and insightful. We have also included links in the sidebar. Click on these and read away. The choices we have made are ones we think you will enjoy. Just have some fun. We do this for you!!!!

But most of all we want you to all know that at Blogger you can create your own blog for FREE!!!! They have the templates that allow you to set up an attractive and interesting website of your very own. If you love to write and need others to read and comment, this is a good thing for you. If you have an agenda and want to simply let others know what you are thinking, this a good thing for you. If you find you hate to do it you can simply delete the blog and go on with your life. You can even, if you so desire, remain TOTALLY anonymous.

We would suggest Mary Pifers, Writing to Change the World as a good book for anyone interested in writing. It is a quick read and we think you will like it.
We bought it at Barnes and Noble but Amazon has it online.

Have a great day.

Aug 11, 2007

Oregon Internation Airshow...taken from Barbara's Travels Blog


Would you believe it if I told you there is one or more families that actually have to take all the pictures off their wall during our Airshow? They live at the end of the runway line and as the jets make their ascent, they can see the afterburner and must wear earplugs...big earplugs. They are warned each year and, as I understand it, have actually embraced the whole experience. Just thought I should tell someone.

By the way the whole thing really scares me. The sound is deafening at times and I can not help that fear grips me. Sorry!!!!


b

Aug 9, 2007

THE CONDO "MEME"...a list of 10!

Have you ever heard of a "meme"? We are using the word more and more in today's web culture to describe lists of qualities or connected ideas. The web describes the theory in the following way:

As defined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976): "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation." "Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation.



It all sounds very high flown and difficult to comprehend but if you get email, you have received a meme of one kind or another in some form. When someone sends you an email that wants you to list 10 things about yourself, that is a meme. Generally there is a pattern that you follow. My favorite inspiration for a meme was an online article listing the 10 things you should know and was aimed at educators. The "10 Things Everyone should know" was written by Stephen Downs sometime in March or April and, since we are all life long learners, should apply even to those of us that are adults and or are approaching elderly status!

The list goes like this (click the link above to read the explanation for each of these):

1-How to predict consequences
2-How to read
3-How to distinguish truth from fiction.
4-How to empathize
5-How to be creative
6-How to communicate clearly
7-How to learn
8-How to stay healthy
9-How to value yourself
10-How to live meaningfully

In our lives as adults, we live a community that is closely connected by architecture and relationships. We are continually dealing with neighborhood issues and finding resolution to problems around us. For us the "meme" should follow a pattern of questions that deal with introspection and understanding. Taking the 10 learning steps above and then applying them to our lives might be an interest concept and lead to a deeper understanding of what and how we all think/feel.

The ten questions might be:

1-When you add to your property how do you think your association officer with view it?
2-What did the recent letter from you association really mean? (Was it information, direction, or opinion?)
3-Were the facts correct; did you find after research (not opinion) that what you were asked to do was legal and congruent with the CC&Rs?
4-Do you feel empathy for those who volunteer to be a board member and why?
5-What do you do to be creative on your property and is it okay?
6-Can you communicate your feelings clearly (without anger)?
7-How can you go about learning in relationship to condo or community CC&Rs? (online, reading the rules, visiting with association leadership?)
8- How do we maintain a healthy and responsive relationship to the community?
9-Do you value your own opinions enough to set them forth in a logical manner?
10-How do you become a meaningful and responsible part of the neighborhood?

Now, this list above a true "meme" in that we have taken a list of ideas, imitated the line of reasoning and made it fit our situation.

That is a "meme".

Have a great day.

We would love to have a comment/opinion from you.

Aug 7, 2007

Orenco Station Special Board Meeting...an unofficial report.

Our counsel for the condo association suggested vetting the placement of pots on steps and landing. Vetting is a term used usually when a back ground check is done or newspaper stories are checked before being published. However, in this case, he thought that the post office might have some information on hazards for carriers and that they could "vet" this problem with us. Sometimes, we are afraid of things that are not a problem at all and checking with those we are trying not to harm is a good thing. We do not want to get sued. It is every one's problem.

He also pointed out that the board does not own our condos. We all own everything in partnership with the other condo residents.

We, like the board, do have a say in what happens.

Please note that the information given below is NOT official and is only our interpretation of what we heard. Please be sure to read the minutes when they come out!!!

Boy did we learn a lot last night! Our board led by Bill Ferber and our condo association lawyer, Chris Tingey met with the residents present. It was strictly an informational session and the board, along with the residents were allowed to ask questions, exchange ideas and get to know each other. I think we all felt better after we left.

Question and answers dealt with the
`Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005', Americans with Disabilities Act, information on how to make changes or different interpretations of the CC&Rs and protection of satellite dishes under law. We also got information on who has the responsibility for maintenance of doors and windows and exchanged ideas for solutions to the hanging planter issue.

Minutes for this meeting will be published after the September meeting and will be posted in the mail room.

But until that I time I will give you the short version of the session.

1. Right to display the flag: H.R. 42 [109th]: Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005

SEC. 3. RIGHT TO DISPLAY THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.

    A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.

SEC. 4. LIMITATIONS.

    Nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with--

      (1) any provision of chapter 1 of title 4, United States Code, or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display or use of the flag of the United States (as established pursuant to such chapter or any otherwise applicable provision of law); or

      (2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the United States necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association.


Please note that we need to follow guidelines for installation of a flag hanger and several ideas were mentioned that would allow for continuity of our display. If they do not come up with a blanket installation of flag poles then we need to get permission and advise on where we can hang them.

It was very exciting!!!

2. Americans With Disabilities Act: One of our residents was asked to remove a mail box they had installed with the help of the post office following their guidelines. Mr.Tingey was recommending that the board did not discuss this in front of the group. We felt bad for the resident.

3. Changes in the CC&Rs: As we understood it, 30% of the residents must support an idea to 'require' the board to take action, whether it be changing the CC&Rs or simply interpreting them differently. This could be done with a petition stating clearly what we want. There are 70(?) condos in our complex. At least 75% of the residents must support any change in the CC&Rs.

4. Door and window maintenance: Residents are responsible for maintenance of windows and doors. Paint colors for the door are listed with Sherman William located on 10th Street in down town Hillsboro. Mr. Tingey recommended that the wording on the window maintenance be changed.

Several residents expressed an interest in hanging plants and were hopeful that the board would come up with an interpretation that would let us make our condos look like a home.

When we prepare to do any of the above things, we must ask our board! They feel strongly that control of such issues protects the value of our property. If we disagree with their interpretation, we need to attend meetings and make ourselves heard in a reasonable manner. We found last night that we could do that and they would listen!!! A very good thing we think.

Aug 6, 2007

Restaurant Deals in Portland/Orenco Neighborhoods

Oreonco Opinions is always trying to find new ways for you to enjoy life in the community. We have discovered a couple ways to dine out without distroying the bank book!!! Interested?

The first is a website that is related to Golf 503 called Dine 503. Dine 503 is a website where you buy certificates to eat out. You will, for example, pay $25 for a $45 certificate at a restaurant called Mint 820 located on Russell Street on the east side of the Willamette. It is off Interstate near Legacy Emanuel Hospital. You need to buy two entrees per gift certificate. You are allowed two certificates per group/table. Of course, reservation are recommended. We used this a while back and had a wonderful time.

*Note this restaurant is just a short walk east of the Gasthaus Pub home of the Widmer Brothers Brewing. We think a Max Line runs up Interstate if you wanted an adventure AND a lot of fun!!!

The other dining option that we use is the Passport Unlimited card. This card allows you to dine at the Orenco Grill, Alessandros, Lucy's Table, Monteaux and many more. While the cost to purchase the card is more than the Entertainment Book and we can not find a way to use it to raise money for charity, it does allow you to dine over and over at the same restaurant all year long. For the most part the quality of the restaurants seems to be above average. We think it more than pays for itself. It could be that business owners can get a special deal by buying a certain number of cards. Check it out!

We hope you are planning to attend the Condo Association Meeting at the pool tonight. And don't forget the Tuesday Market/Art Walk tomorrow from 6-8 pm. See you soon.

*another note: We do not accept money for any reviews we publish. We also do not take any responsibility for whether you have a good time or not. You will have to make that happen yourself. Read the quote in the sidebar about the difference between an adventure and an inconvenience.

Aug 5, 2007

Building Friendships on the Front Porch


My husband and I have a built in surround sound system in our condo. We are both a little deaf...well maybe a lot deaf!!! Our movies are a bit loud. I love plants and seem to overflow a little with plant enthusiasm. We have small grandchildren than can be rambunctious. And, as with people that have always lived in large houses, we have way to much stuff!!! I ask a lot of my neighbors when it comes to forgiveness and understanding. And they tolerate me. Needless to say, I love my neighbors. We have such a great relationship and we each lead lives that do not intersect in anyway accept when we visit on the front porch or have a small social gathering.

I had a group in for wine last evening and we visited about past experiences, things we were reading or which bottle of wine we liked best. The party extended down the way to a neighboring townhouse as well. I play golf with one woman, belong to a book club with another, get beautiful vegetables from an organic garden from another couple, share a career with another and find the person that lives next door interesting and creative. When I woke this morning I was full of enthusiasm for my community.

As I recall the evening though, I think the most important thing is we looked each other in the eye, felt concern for illnesses and problems. We feel concern! I think that in the long run gatherings like this will serve us well. When problems occur in our condo unit, and trust me they will, we will know each other well enough that we will be able to talk things over, get problems solved to get things done.

We are keeping our fingers crossed! We plan on living here a long time.

b

Aug 2, 2007

Art Walk Downtown Hillboro, Oregon Aug 7th 6-8 PM

Have you taken Max to downtown Hillsboro for the Tuesday evening summer market? Well Tuesday, August 7th will be a special event for those of us that love art and want to support local artists. Artists, merchants and the Glenn and Viola Walters Community Center have teamed up to give us a Tuesday Evening Art Walk. You can view art from 6 to 8 pm. Location will be from the space above the Stratford House all the way down main street to the community center. Hopefully, it will be the first of many such events. Plan on going, have a bite to eat, and wander around to see the art.

Aug 1, 2007

The Police Man

When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood.
Sam Ewing




When you are raised in a small community you have a totally different outlook on life. My little town was called Huntington, named after a famous railroad man. It reminds me very much of the old community of Orenco (Oregon Nursery Company). It boasted a population of 800. My high school had about 75 students and I graduated with a class of 17.

While the street were relatively safe, as a child you learned to be very careful, not talk to strangers and would get in big trouble if your roller skates took you down town to the front of the pool hall.

We did have a policeman. His name was Ralph. He lived with his wife in a small house on main street that used to be a store. He was old and they were childless. As I remember he was a tall thin man with a slight stoop. But tall is very relative when you are a little girl. And we never saw him during the day...there didn't seem to be a need. The fact that our little community actually had someone like him was amazing.

He did not drive.
We had no police car.
I don't think he had a badge.

We did have a fire engine but the only time it was ever used as I was growing up was when the school house burned...to the ground.

Small town America.

Smile.

b

**We invite you to submit a hometown story.