Showing posts from June, 2010

Vacation to Mexico We Go!

Image by Always at Home via Flickr Shanghai, China Three Word Wednesday
hassle, inject, wealth
Where oh where to begin...can I help you plan a vacation?  Maybe not but I can let you know how we do it and you will need to take it from there.
     We are in the process of planning a 50th Anniversary vacation to Mexico.  It is one of those "is the cup half full or half empty" kind of decisions.  Don't get me wrong, we have done this many times and with the wrong attitude, it can be a hassle!  The half empty part?  It takes time and planning to get it even halfway right.  On the half full side...we get to take time to plan and study to get it even half way right!  We think a lot of the fun is in looking forward to the vacation.
     Believe it or not, our tastes do match up with our money...we do not need is a big injection of wealth into our bank account.  To our credit, we were smart enough to buy a time-share vacation exchange 15 years ago and we have been reaping the benefit…

Small Space Living, Life Swap Thoughts + pictures by a 2 year old!

I have rediscovered the joy of living in our condo.  The small space here requires some self control...we cannot possess every goody in the world.  Still, we managed to find a condo with three outdoor areas...plenty to satisfy our need for plants in pots and then some.  We also found a place with only two bedrooms, no family room or laundry room.  Because the space is used so wisely we have a large kitchen open to a spacious dining area.  We also have a loft office area that is just the right size with a small laundry area tucked in a hallway.  The bedrooms are very roomy and we have two complete baths.  We have eliminated a great deal of furniture over the last 9 years we have lived here.  When we down sized, we managed to cram a great deal of stuff in this space.  Over the years we have weeded out and learned to live with a great deal less.  Small space living fits us so perfectly that when we go to Tucson to live in the winter, our small park model do…

Summer Hostess Gifts + more...some on the cheap!

One of my favorite websites comes from out of Canada. Style At is very cool. True we have a lot of great stuff in the states but when it comes to style, I think Canada may be the place to start looking. As I was roaming around today looking for what was up with our northern neighbors, I found a few items I want to share but with a few twists.
     We all know life is about eating, sleeping and shopping…not necessarily in that order. Here is what I found:
Tea Towels…I know,   most people think of these as left over bits and pieces of cloth kept in the bottom drawer laying unused because we all seem to have a dishwasher. But the thing is I love beautiful towels in the kitchen. They are like curtains! These little towels are printed black on white and sport some very trendy  images. “Ferm LIVING’s tea towels will match almost any kitchen, maybe adding a little retro kitsch.” When you go to the website you will find they are available in the states even though the webs…

The Evolution of Blogging! Why and How

My husband took this picture in Kowloon, PRC
Blogging has turned out to be a wonderful thing for me.  I began several years ago on a whim while my husband and I were visiting China.  I wanted to share my experiences with children/ was slicker and a lot faster than a postcard or letter.  The results have been an ongoing journal that included interests, stories, and letters.... and the list goes on.  I am not sure whether the original aim lines up with the outcome but, for me, the effort is very rewarding.      The simplicity of starting this process has become easier with the passing years and the learning curve is not a steep climb.  It simply requires a little (or a lot) of your attention every few days.  Your posts don't need to be long or complicated...all they need to be is a reflection of your personality.  When we retire and the years pass, we become more aware of the legacy we will want to pass on to our family.  I personally would love my family to visit t…

MIX Portland's Magazine of Food and Drink...Must have!!!

A description of Pok Pok Thai Restaurant was in the last MIX magazine recognized as having a great patio.  The Oregonian voted it the restaurant of year in 2007  Image via Wikipedia THEOREGONIAN NEWSPAPER The Oregonian, Oregon's newspaper, is surviving as it always has.  It is delivered to doors in communities throughout the state.  I lived in Eastern Oregon from 1941 to 1959 and the paper came to our door even then.  We used to have two Oregon Democrat and one Republican.  If you went to visit a home and saw the newspaper on the couch you would know where their political sentiment were.   The Oregonian was the Democratic publication and The Journal the Republican.  The Oregonian's owner bought The Journal newspaper in 1961 much to the disgust of it's loyal readers.  After publishing both papers for several years, the Journal fell out of favor and the state was left with one major newspaper.        In a time when newspapers are closing their doors completely,…

Yes, You Can Brew Beer! Links to Information!

We are a little most sophisticated than this!  Image via Wikipedia      My husband brews homemade beer.  I help him drink it.  It is a plan that has worked out pretty good for us.  Since Portland Metro is the micro-brew capital of the world (maybe) it was only natural that sooner or later my husband would give birth to the idea that he could brew beer himself.  Our children were always at a loss for gifts and they saw an opportunity for many years of gift giving.  This is a beautiful plan that came was so perfect.  Every birth should be as perfect of this was.    Now we are all enjoying the results.
        Here in Hillsboro the go to location for everything beer is Main Street Homebrew & Bread Supply Company.  They have anything you will need to brew beer,  Not only does my husband get quality supplies, the owner gives very good advice when he needs help.
    So I am here to tell you that brewing beer is not hard.  You can do it!  You can go online and learn ever…

Beer Lovers Dream Come True...Portland, Oregon

I am not an expert on the craft of brewing beer but I do know what I like.  My husband brews beer in the garage that faces the alley behind our condo.  Living with a beer maker definitely makes you more aware of all those things that go into beer...hops, yeast, malt, time, equipment, fermentation and most of all the nuances that result from using all these things in different ways.  I began drinking beer with all these things in mind many years ago. WIDMER BEER      Here in Portland Metro Area we have some wonderful brews.  The Widmer brewery on the eastside of the river is among the best and they have come out with a new beer in honor of summer called Sunburned Blonde Ale.  This beer is bottled and you can expect the same quality and taste from every bottle you buy.  When we travel we love that we can get a crafted beer even in locations that don't know Millers from rootbeer.  I think the microbrew beer at their Gasthaus Pub is wonderful.  WHY THE McMenamin's BREWPUBS?      …

A Drive in the Country...back roads near Portland, Oregon

Location:  Portland, Oregon Metro Area...20 miles west from the center of the city.
     Area:  Scholls  at the corner of Hwy 210 and Hwy 219.  This corner is a slow down and stop location.
Business:  Smith Berry Barn and The South Store Cafe
Day:  Saturday in June
Weather:  Sunny and Warm
Mission:  Buy plants for the garden
     This beautiful lady sat at a table adjoining ours as we ate our lunch and listened to a band called Beyond the Grange (contact Lee Thompson at 503.628.1920). Don't tell me we don't know how to be stylish...isn't she beautiful?  When I asked if I could take her picture one of the other three ladies at the table leaned over and said "She is our Sweet Sarah."     

        We are having two days of sunshine in a row.  The planting can finally in Oregon at least.  When the sun shines, it is a requirement that we take a leisurely drive in the might be the best good time of the whole year. We could not believe…

Cancer or Valley Fever...a diagnosis FINALLY!

Link from earlier post:  Fatal Mistake When Choosing a Physician
      Valley Fever is one of those infections that can show up in an x-ray looking like a deadly  cancer growing in your lungs.  My husband should know.

     He left Arizona sick and could not even drive for the last of the journey.  He should not have been driving at all but I am clueless and he did not complain.  We arrived back in Oregon on May 1.  That was a Saturday.  On the following Monday I took him to the doctor.  He had an xray that showed pneumonia.  It has been five weeks now.  After three doctors, 2 x-rays, a cat-scan and a bronchoscopy he finally has a dignosis.   Yesterday we received word that he indeed had a fungal infection and not the lung cancer that the Pulmonologist suspected.
    We had been in Arizona for 7 months living in our park model.  During that period of time my husband played golf several times a bad weather or good.  This was a very wet winter with lots of wind.  It turns ou…

Fashion for the Silver Haired Set....finally getting some attention!

I was invited to join  Lookville a while back.  Lookville is a website that deals with fashion and style.  Members post a style, either a picture of them self or one taken from another source, and invite comments or advice on the appropriateness or stylishness of the picture.   This website just appeals to my love for beautiful clothes.  I posted a look and posed the question "Is it possible to be fashionable after a "certain" age?" along with a look taken from More magazine.  As a result of this post I received comments from a number of women varying age from 19 to mid sixties.  It seems that woman do speak the same language when it comes to style.  The common theme resonated with me...looking beautiful really has nothing to do with our age.  Attitude and elan do count.  It is all about pulling it off!
     One of the women that commented or offered advise referred to a blog called Advanced Style: Proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style …

Note: Never buy real estate in the Willamette Valley, Oregon on a sunny day, buy a computer before visiting the Apple store and get old!


Don't tell me newspaper people don't have a sense of humor.  The last week the Oregonian here in the Portland, Or. metro area ran this as a headline:

Dear Rain,
We give.
Sincerely, Portland       I have a very good piece of advice for you...IF YOU ARE FROM OUT OF TOWN, NEVER, NEVER BUY A PIECE OF REAL ESTATE IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY ON A SUNNY DAY!  We have been home from Arizona for 5 week now.  It was nice for two weekends in a row.  But it rained steady the rest of the time.  Now it has rained so much my daughter's cherry tree tipped over in her back yard...very close to the house.  She does not live on a hill or in a depression.  It has just rained so much that any tree even near to being tippy will fall over.  They fall on the freeways, people's houses and in the woods. There is a price to be paid for our beautiful countryside.  We know that it rains a lot but, if you are from say Arizona, you might not.  Just thought you would want t…