Showing posts from September, 2007

Book Club Response to "Water for Elephants"

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen turned out to be a very good quick and lively read. When the book club met last week the consensus was that on a scale of 1-10 this book would rank at about an 8. It was not the best book we had ever read but still represented that time in our history from an unusual view point. The Depression for the group here at Orenco Station was not a part of our personal life but most of the ladies were the children of parents that endured the hard and unforgiving times.

We talked about other books written about the era. John Steinbeck came up as well as Annie Proux. We did not think that this book compared with those written by the two authors mentioned. However, there was a feeling that Gruen has come very close. The author had mentioned the fact that the main character in the book told a story that loosely followed the biblical tale of Jacob in the book of Genisis. Steinbeck has used this method in the writing of his books and maybe that was why we fo…

Barbara`s home in the world!!!!!: Going Green in Real Time

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and a list!

I'm reading ¨Water for Elephants" written by Sara Gruen for our book club meeting next Friday. "Water for Elephants" is a wonderful break from the usual material I have read this summer. The list includes "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Spendid Suns" both by Khaled Hosseini, "Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette" and "Ahab's Wife" by Sena Jeter Nashlund, "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi just to name a few. "Water for Elephants" is just plain fun and interesting.

The story is told by Jacob, a 90 or 93 year year old retired veterinarian, from his residence in a nursing home. He tells the story of circus life during the depression and how he came to be there.. The times are hard and the story carries you along creating images of small towns with angry sheriffs, cities where there is no work to be had and a train carrying the workers, performers, menagerie, the young Jacob and one ma…

The Perfect Interior Decorating Shop+a bicycle race!!!

Photos by Barbara Torris 2007

Does everyone love a wonderful design store as much as I do. I discovered this shop called Sherrie Weitzel Interiors in the Bethany Shopping Center today when I was there to watch my grandson race in a Criterion Race sponsored by Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. When my grandson races in these events we always include a coffee hour under the trees or sunning a warm spot. Today we were treated to a little shopping, a little Starbucks Coffee and a little bicycle racing. It was the perfect day.

We parked in front of Sherrie's shop and it invited us in with no trouble. We wandered among her wears in awe and yearned for everything she displayed. The lamps were simply gorgeous and, as we learned later, one of a kind created by her discerning eye.

The owner of the design shop features items that allow you to make your home look like your own. She can help you turn that wonderful ceramic item you bought on your last trip abroad into a beautiful lamp. …

Retirement= Hillsboro, Oregon

Reading the newspaper is just so much fun these days. Especially if you move right on to the inside pages. On Saturday my husband found an article in an "inside section" of our local paper telling about a new TV Channel called Retirement Living TV available on on satellite TV. Designed for ages 50+, it features health, discussion, seniors living and much more. Charles Hirschhorn, a former Disney Executive, is its chief creative officer. One of the shows is hosted by Gary Collins. So it seems all the pieces are in place for a TV channel that will appeal to the 50+ audience to succeed. Heaven only knows there is a need for it in a world that has always focused on the success of the youth market.

One feature coming up is about the 10 best places to retire in the United States. Our Hillsboro, Oregon ( had made the list and I can see why. We have the world at our finger tips.

In our national award winning subdivision, Orenco Station, the d…

Input From a Condo Owner

Just a quick update condo dwellers. After the news about our condo association was posted, a condo neighbor sent the Orenco Opinions an email. It said:

There is a committee in the process of being formed, with the remit of getting the remediation process on the road. This will be chaired by Stephanie (a board member) and she assured us that good communication would be one of the key issues.

Volunteers for the Landscape Committee stepped up, and a design consultation is being sought. Who knows what that will produce with regards to dead heading etc,. Having been on the landscape committee previously, I am only too well aware of the issues regarding planting in the beds and of the emotions that ensue from differences of opinion here.

There has always been an issue with regard to "do it yourself" repairs and safety issues and the Board is probably correct to insist that it be done by a contractor. The outside lights are a real problem, especially for Rainiers, as the light…

How many visits??? 524

Did you realize that this blog has received 524 visits from readers from around the world since July!!! I am truly amazed. The blog was started originally for those that live very close by. I think, though, that no mater where people live, they face the same success and problems when they live in close proximity to other people and share decisions about their homes.

We have already learned that we need to be involved, positive and comply with the rules. When it comes to interpretation of the rules we need to be present at all meetings to help the board make decision that affect our lives. If we don't attend meetings, we will not have our say and therefore, will probably not agree with the outcomes.

So we are being watched. Maybe our neighborhood can find solutions that can be used by other condo dwellers. We will all just have to wait and see.

Don't forget SEPTEMBER 11th.

*Fly or hang your flags.
*Attend your COA meeting in the Pool Pavilion.

Hope your weekend has …

Pick ye wild flowers while you may!!!

Corinna's Going a Maying
Robert Herrick 1591-1674
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And the same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry;
For, having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry. Her father always took her to pick wild flowers in the spring. He…

Portland Japanese Garden

I did not go to the Japanese Gardens today. I had planned to but life got in the way and I stayed at home. A group of ladies from the neighborhood boarded Max this morning and I am sure had a wonderful time. The sun is shining now. It would have been a beautiful day for a visit. I am including a clip from the gardens made by Mike Darcey and is posted on You Tube. You should take a look if you are planning a visit.

Incidentally, the Max train does run on a schedule so check the times and you can catch it with out much of a wait.

Hope you all had a wonderful time.


COA Meeting September 11

(can be disassembled for painting and repairs)

For all of you that live in condos at Orenco Station.
The COA will be meeting September 11th.
Notice on time and location is posted
on the bulletin board in the mail room.
Be there with questions, concerns and solutions.


Sharing about what we are reading is one of the best conversation starters that I know. It seems everyone has read a book they want to talk about or want to know about one they have seen at the book store or library.

I, for one, am a lover of books and read every day. I just finish reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by KaledHoseini. Hoseini was the author of The Kite Runner and he has managed to give us another wonderful read.

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson was a book my son-in-law chose. I borrowed it from him and was glad that I did. It is a mystery story set in the London/Tokyo/Russia in the year 2002. The Internet culture and its depth of interaction made for an interesting scenario. This is the eight book written by Gibson and will not be the last I read by this author. I would recommend it .

The book club I belong to is going to read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen for it's next discussion. It looks like it is going to be fun to read and different from what we a…