Sep 30, 2010

Retiree's List of 10 Bests...for Summer 2010! Portland Metro Area

I could write ten (10) stories or I could post just one list...so the list it is!  :)
  1. Best MagazinesMore, a magazine designed for women over 50,  Oprah e-magazine and OregonLive magazine MIX.
  2. Best Books this Summer: Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society, Ann Barrows; Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford 
  3.  Best New Gadget: Kindle reader (I can adjust the font size.)
  4. Best Country Drive (Portland, Oregon):  Smith Berry Barn and South Store Cafe
  5. Best Local BrewpubMcMenamin's Roadhouse, Cornilius Pass Road
  6. Best Beer: Pub Brewed Heffeweizen at McMenamin's Roadhouse
  7. Best Design Websites:  Apartment Therapy.com and Style at Home.com
  8. Best Kitchen Tool: micro-plane
  9. Best Sushi :  Syun Japanese Restaurant, Hillsboro, Oregon
  10. Best Time of Year in the NW United States:  September
For more information on these you can follow the link or type the orange highlighted words into the google search on this page.  Books are available through Amazon.  Magazines can be found at Triple Click Bargains.

Have a wonderful day.

                 

Sep 24, 2010

EYEGLASSES...SHOPPING ONLINE + A TIP

I was looking at Advanced Style yesterday. Images of older men and woman shopping or simply taking a walk in NYC just fascinates me. I could not help but notice how LARGE their glasses were!  In an article the writer wrote for us today he talked about the late Mimi Weddell and included several pictures of this beautiful older woman.  One of those pictures was of Mimi sitting up in bed with her reading glasses on.  Now she knew how to select glasses.

WHY WE SHOP ONLINE FOR GLASSES
As we grow older we seem to need more glass in our glasses.  Though  many women are vain enough that they will not wear glasses in photos or even on the street, there all those of us that cannot see without our glasses...we are dangerously blind.   I personally have two pair of glasses...one for seeing (no joke!) and one for reading. I could use a third pair for the computer and another for golfing but it just seems wrong to own so many!!! That is why those of us that are older wear big glasses...with progressive lenses. The bigger the better.  Big big glasses!  (I might add here that surgery for my problem is not possible at this time.)

 The women pictured in Advanced Style seem to pull it off the big beautiful glasses. They wear those huge glasses with a lot of flare. I have to admire them for that. My problem is I cannot find those glasses here in Hillsboro, Oregon.  Darn!

SHOPPING ONLINE HOW-TO
So, just for fun I went shopping online for glass frames and I found a website that actually lets you try on the glasses so you can see how they look on your face.  You take a picture of yourself with your webcam and down load it on the website then choose the option of bifocals/progressive lenses.  This choice will give you all those glasses that have enough lens to accommodate your needs. I did find one that looked very good and worked with my oval face.  Virtual try-on might be something I will try in the future.  The site I looked at was called The Glasses Shop but I am sure there are others that would work for you.  If I were to do this, I would take the frames to the place I buy glasses and have them order the lenses that fit the frames.  I did this very thing last spring with an old pair of frames that I did not purchase from the place I had my prescription filled.  They trace your frames and order the lenses.  It is not a big deal at all.  If your vendor gives you a bad time about not buying their frames, go somewhere else 

TIP
As long as I am on the subject, I suggest you always get a copy of your prescription when you are refitted for glasses.  I carry a eyeglass prescription card in my purse.  There is nothing worse that broken glasses in a far off place and no way to get a new pair.  Once when I was in Hong Kong I decided to have a pair of glasses made...they are very cheap there.  Because I carried my prescription it was possible for me to do that!  Cool, huh!!!

WHAT I WEAR NOW
My last pair of glasses feature an upper end man's (unisex?) frame in basic black. The frame is big enough to hold quite a lot of vision options. Even though I still I need reading glasses, I can read the labels on the shelves at the grocery store...a very good thing in my world. Really what I need  glass frame maker to do is remember not everyone is 23 and cannot wear glasses that are 1/4" deep...we need more GLASS not more GLASSES!!  And please dear glass people, make them beautifully stylish!

Thank you for listening

b

Sep 22, 2010

Style....How to dress for travel!

I was writing a blog yesterday about having company. Friends from Great Falls, Montana and Sumner, Washington came to visit us here in the Portland Metro Area for 5 days of talk, shopping and discussion.  I found myself thinking about style and how it fits in a travelers life.

Arizona Inn...Tucson, Arizona
Sunset Over the Desert

Cow Girls at Tanque Verde Ranch
For example, when my husband and I return from Tucson, Arizona sunshine to our beautiful northwestern USA, we are always surprised by how different the two styles are.  In Tucson we wear the colors of the desert...cactus green, terra cotta and sand stone accented with turquoise, sunset oranges and of course yellow...lot's of yellow.  We always wear sandal and if it is cold we wear long pants.  Cowboy boots and blue jeans are always in style...Arizona is dude ranch country.   We feel comfortable in those colors and styles because they reflect the natural beauty of the area, the life style of it's people and the climate.

Oregon beach Nasturtiums in bloom.
Here in Portland we are more subdued.  Blacks, browns, moss greens with splashes of primary colors fill our closets.  Classic styles, hiking clothes and sensible shoes fill our closets.  People in Portland tend to put shorts on as the calendar changes without regard for the weather.  In the heart of the city tailored suits and trendy "dressy clothes" are the order of the day.  I have gone downtown for lunch in the fall in my "Arizona" colors...I really did feel out of place.  Even the young people with orange hair and black lips turned to see if I had landed from outer space!

Icy cold Pacific waters.
 

If I were to travel to Paris I would do a little looking around online to see what they are wearing.  I am a people watcher and love to catch an image of someone or somethings without being noticed.  Dressing in open toed shoes and teal green in the wrong place does not allow that to happen.

Really, I do not want to look like a clown!!!  REALLY!!

Selected blogs:

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Portland Metro Back Roads + A Rural Golf Course

    Portland Style....Purses from NW 23rd, Portland Oregon
    Portland is all about Portland Style...here is an example 
    of some time spent in the 
    Portland Metro Area

    I have had company.  Don't you just love to have company...you get so see your life through another's eyes.  That is what happened to us this last week.

    We live in Hillsboro, Oregon near one of the very large Intel Campuses.  Our parkways are mowed and beautiful trees stud the landscape.  Our neighborhood is a planned community with a grocery, kitchen story, three restaurants and a Starbucks.  We walk to and from our mail room next to the grocery and stop for a cup of coffee.  While we take our small condo for granted, our company made us stop and appreciate what we have.

    We took them golfing at a golf course a few minutes west on Highway 26.  It was located near a small community called Banks.  Quail Valley Golf Course is a great little gem of a course with 18 holes and is par 72.  It is set in the countryside and we could see vineyards, beautiful farms and clover fields.  A soft rain fell for a short period but the day was so warm and inviting.  This is the kind of weather we have here in Oregon in September and early October.

    The variety of routes that we can take to get to downtown Portland make a day trip feel like a real get away.  It takes us less than 30 minutes.  We had decided visit NW 23rd Avenue and the trendy shops that line it.  The neighborhood between NW 21st Ave. and NW 23rd Ave. is known as the Nob Hill Historic District.  To go into the city I chose Cornell RD going west.  This route takes you directly to the south end of 23rd Ave. and parking near Legacy Emanual Hospital is plentiful.  Cornell turns into Lovejoy Street when you get to the east side of the hill.  We then walked up the street to Papa Hayden's Restaurant where we scored outdoor seating.  Then we went shopping for purses!!!  Let me tell you, if you want wonderful shopping at delightful little shops, the Nob Hill District is the place for you.

    Heading back home we decided to go south on 23rd Ave. until we hit Burnside St..  This route going west takes you through a fairy land of trees and moss.  I felt a little like I was showing off.  But I think everyone had a wonderful time.  I guess the old adage "if you've got it flaunt it" would apply in this case.  We live here but I felt like I was on vacation too!

    I love having company!

    b

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    Sep 11, 2010

    Satisfying Retirement: Don't Be Average: 4 Tips for Being Uncommon

    Here is a #1 Blogger that writes about retirement. You might want to take a look. Satisfying Retirement: Don't Be Average: 4 Tips for Being Uncommon

    b

    Exercise...or where did I put my glasses?

    Just me!  b
    I really cannot walk or talk or even find my glasses without having my glasses on.  You can see my problem here.  When I plan my day I set aside a certain amount of time for searches...most of them for my glassesNormally my glasses are on my bedside table but there are those occasions when I take a nap in another room or take them off to rub my eyes or just take them off like I take my shoes off.  I look for my shoes a lot too.

    We live in a house with stairs and three levels.  Our ceilings are at the least 12' with one room reaching much more than that.  You see where I  am going with this?  The journey from this level to that requires a little effort.  Now let me add my memory into the mix.  If I arrived at the top level and actually remembered what I went up there for, it would not be so bad.  But you know how it goes:
    Me:  Do you know where I put my reading glasses?
    Husband:  The last time I saw them they were in the upstairs bathroom
    Me:  Oh, thank you. 
    (Trudge spryly up the stairs...all three levels!)
    Did I forget to make the bed this morning?  (make the bed)
    (Trudge back downstairs...all three levels.  Sit in chair, realize I forgot my glasses)
    (Trudge less spryly back upstairs...all three levels.  Notice washers just finished spinning.  Put wash in the dryer.  Wipe down washer. Set up the ironing board for later.)
    (Trudge back downstairs...all three levels."
      *&^%)# [grandma cussing] 
    Trudge SLOWLY back upstairs.  Lay down on the bed, notice glasses on bedside stand.  Go to sleep.)
    I am of the opinions that a membership at LA Fitness would not do me much good...they would be so impressed with my stamina and strength they would send me home.  They would say, "My but you are in good shape for a woman of your age (Sheesh...they are such young whipper snappers!)."   I would go home and tell my husband to cancel the membership...I have an exercise program that works just fine and doesn't cost a penny!

    b 

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    Sep 10, 2010

    Company is Coming...updating the little home!

    Guest Bedroom re-furnished!
    We are going to have company!  Yikes...!  For the first time in three years we have a second bedroom with a bed in it.  So I invited people to come visit and they accepted!  Now boys and girls we need to get ready.

    Old Pendleton Blanket on back of chair!
    My husband and I sit around in our condo comfortably with a laptop computer on one ottoman and our feet up on another.  Did I mention that they are mismatched?  The 8 inch space under the TV has been needing something for I don't know how long....9 years?  I finally stuffed my magazine collection in there.  sigh!  I have a blanket over the back of every chair because I like my Pendleton blankets and they are very warm when you need to get rid of the chill without turning on the heat!  (Company or no company they are staying where they are.)

    The question here is...do I fix everything just for show or do I let people see how I REALLY LIVE?  If I had time I would take a poll and do what you said.  But since I don't, I have decided to clean my act up.  I see this as the perfect opportunity for us to get some projects done.  It is like we are putting the house up for sale but we don't have to move.  That is a good thing I think.

    WHATS NEW?

    We went shopping for lamps and lampshades because we were huddled under two lamps that gave off bad light in an attempt to read in the evenings.  Failing eyesight is something most aging people deal with.  I started at Target.  We found a great photographers tripod lamp and a linen shade that looked just perfect.  Boy do I love Target!

    Silk shade from Lowes
    Then we moved on to Lowes where we bought a silk lampshade that we added to an old floor lamp we already had but was stored away.  I  considered painting this lamp an espresso color but reconsidered after we got the shade home.
    Pot light converter kit!

    We also bought a pot light converter kit and a shade glazed with nickle.  It fits in the kitchen perfectly.

    Wreath + Star...bought separately!
    White enamel spray paint was purchased for a wreath stored in the basement. After the paint job it was paired  with a tin star covered with decorative paper I found in a paper shop in Sumner, WA.  The star was a display item and owner was willing to part with it for the cost of the materials it took to make it.   We both loved this hung over the bed.

    Pottery Barn had pillow covers on sale so I bought two for my wing back chairs.  They it beautifully with the other colors in the room.

    COMPANY IS COMING!

    I mentioned that didn't I?  There is no way what we would have gotten all these things done in a few days if that were not so.  Now I will make the grocery list, do a little cooking and wait for the day to come. 

    Have a wonderful day!

    b

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    Sep 9, 2010

    ORVILLE REDENBACHER AND RV SAFETY

    I have been seeing this commercial over and over and over.  You know the one where the people are going down the road in the RV.  Mom is up walking around popping corn and the kids are sitting at the table playing a video game.  When the corn is done,  POP gets up and walks back to have a taste...leaving the steering wheel unattended!

    My Motor Home...I know what I'm talking about!
    That part is so obviously bad...no one but an idiot would ever leave the steering wheel!  But the part about everyone wandering around the motor home as it drives down the road...that is one very dangerous thing to do.  DO NOT EVER GET UP AND WANDER AROUND IN A MOTOR HOME WHILE IT IS GOING DOWN THE ROAD....EVER!!!!  In fact do not carry more people than you have seat belts for.  If the driver has to slow down unexpectedly even a little bit,  you become a flying missile and your last stop will be in heaven or at the very least the hospital.

    Do the math folks!

    If a motor home is driving down the road at 60 mph and must stop for a deer in the road, how long will it take you travel from the bathroom to the dash board?  Let me know when you have the answer now.  Because if this ever happens to you, you will not be alive to visit with me!

    Just a thought.

    b

    Sep 8, 2010

    A fabulous faux-llections...best Apartment Therapy idea yet!

    ...from apartment therapy!  That is a phrase I use frequently.  There is a good, absolutely sound reason why!  Apartment Therapy is a website written and followed by some very creative people.  The ideas they come up with just blow me away.  And yesterday, when I checked the latest email notice from them, I found a whopper of an idea for people that live in small spaces.

    iphoto book making application!
    It is called "faux-llections"...the idea being that although we love to shop for beautiful things where ever we are, we cannot possible buy all those beautiful things and live in our small place at the same time.  This is how Apartment Therapy put it:
     What's a Faux-llection? Well a faux collection of course! What's a faux collection? Well we're glad you asked! It's the easiest way to collect awesome items without filling your home with "stuff and things."
    Physical space will not allow us to gather up "stuff" willy-nilly.  So what can we do?   They suggest that you click pictures when you are out window shopping or "just looking".  Then after you have a collection of the most beautiful things in the world...on your camera... you can publish your own coffee table book.  Of course the better your camera the better your book.  It just stands to reason.

    Cover Picture? (Las Vegas)
    After you down load and edit your pictures all you PC users can sign up with a website like Blurb.  By searching for self publishing photo books on the google search function in my sidebar you will find that there is more than one place you can go.   If you are a Apple user, Blurb probably will not work for you.  All you need to do is go to your iphoto application, create your little book and order it from Apple.  I have even created these and printed them on my printer. 

    Mexican market...better in a picture than in real life!
    Your collection of items in photograph form can go on your coffee table for you and your friends to enjoy.   Put that nicknack duster away and create a book...wouldn't that be fun!

    b

    Sep 4, 2010

    Retired Snow Bird Migration: Planning a Vacation ...on the way to another vacation!

    MIGRATION, MIGRATION, MIGRATION
    The Snow Birds (retired boomers) are beginning to be restless.  A few fly south early, wanting to get in that extra bit of sun.  Many have been stuck in the snow in early October and learned the lessons taught by Mother Nature.  The cautious travelers along with those that love the second home as much as the first leave early. Migration and talk of migration fills the hearts and minds of America's retired population.

    Down Town Palm Spring
    Every year I marvel at the similarity of the migration of those beautiful snow geese that fly in lovely V's over head and humans following their example.  I have learned that many people are RUT followers and travel down the same road and stay in the same motel each and every year.  I think birds must do this very thing.  Restlessness drives their flight and the shortest distance between two points is their goal.  Then there are Snow Birds that take a vacation on their way to their vacation both going and coming.  I smile at the thought....that is what we do.  Those straggling birds that leave with the flock for Mexico and end up in Florida must  love a vacation too!

    I cannot explain to those that don't see the wonder of the road.  They just disdain more vacation.  Too costly, no enough time, my wife's back hurts...and the list goes on and on!  All I can think is what a shame.

    DREAM VACATION...USING TIME SHARES

    We have a timeshare and can get bonus time (i.e. overnight lodging in a condo at about $40 per night) during the shoulder of the season.  Because we invested in this type of ownership, we have been able to travel and stay in beautiful accommodations owned by our timeshare company. We travel with a laptop computer so we can take advantage of those online coupons and golf deal.  We have learned to travel in luxury but do it on our terms.
    This year I am dreaming of a short visit to the wine country of the Napa Valley and maybe a trip down the coast of California.  


    Sedona, Arizona...another dream location on the way!
    I would like to stay in Windsor, California for a couple of days and then go south through San Francisco and stay in one of our timeshare locations just outside of China Town.  We could then travel south to Pismo Beach north of Los Angeles and spend a day or two in that part of California.  We have never been there.  Our next stop would be in the Palm Springs area where we can choose from two locations...or just take the one that is open.
    We might play golf while we are there...why not if we can get a good price on golf.  Fall is perfect for people that love to play luxury courses but don't want to pay the inflated price courses charge during high season.   This is the time of year when golf courses in Southern California and Arizona over seed their courses.  Putting greens are not wonderful but the beauty of the green courses make up for that.
    Friends in the RV Resor
    The Ocean calls our name....
    So what do you think?  Don't you think this sounds like fun?  I have always wondered if those geese stirring about practicing for the journey south when they go from one corn field to the next, dream of warm swamp land in the south.  Do they dream of the stopping points like the one outside Burns, Oregon where birds numbering in the thousands linger every year resting and feeding?  Is that their idea of a stop in wine country?  I somehow think it is.

    Have a wonderful day.  I'll see you in the sun later.

    b

    Links:

    Palm Springs Golf
    Park Model Living
    Related Travel Blogs