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Showing posts from August, 2012

A look back: Why we travel Hopefully and Fearlessly!!!

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Image via WikipediaIn an article published in the New York Times in April of 2011,  PAUL THEROUX argues for traveling the world even in troubled times. I think that Paul is a very smart man. My husband and I have always been travelers that will not be deterred because of dire warnings or terrorist global threats. We do our travel planning and if the sky doesn't fall, we leave on schedule. I have always wondered why we did that. Are we fearless or risk takers or are we just blithely blithering along?  Perhaps it is a little of all three.  

For example, we traveled to Spain in 2003 when our government was making the decision to invade Iraq. I will have to say that we did not believe our country would actually invade that country but I don't know that it would have made a difference if we had thought they would. In the first place, I don't think we actually realized how small the world is...Spain and Iraq are closer that NYC is to Portland, Oregon. And we had managed to get a …

Travel: Things I Wish I'd Brought When I Got There

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Sapa Rooms early in the Morning (Photo credit: Always at Home)
It is just the small stuff I wish I had...not the camera or even a dress for evening wear. When I travel I always wish I had some small item I left at home on purpose or didn't even know I needed. For example,
When we were in Vietnam last winter I saw beautiful sleeping bag liners in shop after shop.  Honestly, I haven't camped for years and did not even know such a thing existed!  But there they were in Hanoi...stacks and stacks of them. What do you use them for I asked my daughter-in-law and she shrugged her shoulders. Did I need one of those?  Well, it turns out, yes I did.  When we boarded the night train in Hanoi for the long trip in a sleeping car, I took one look at the bed and shuddered. I get it now...that is why I need a silk sleeping bag liner! An article on the Lonely Planet website reminded me that beds even in up scale hotels can be full of bed bugs and other critters/crud. A pretty little silk sleep…

Hotspot: Wine Shop in Oregon Wine Country

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I love the smell of a beautiful wine in a beautiful glass...in fact I love wine, period! So how did that wine shop on main street in my little town (Hillsboro, Oregon) get there without me knowing? I cannot figure it out.
Earlier in the summer my husband bought a wine tasting for two from Living Social at Primrose and Tumbleweeds in down town Hillsboro, Oregon. When he asked me if want to go, I was less than enthusiastic. After all Hillsboro is not the cultural center of the western world. What I forgot was that Hillsboro is fast becoming the gateway to Washington County wine country. This might be the new hotspot in the wine world and Primrose is banking on it!


If you are from Oregon and have missed Washington County, it is an emerging trendy country setting for little restaurants, bed and breakfast and wineries. You need to check it out. This place is beyond beautiful but still laid back, unpretentious and welcoming.

I am glad that we decided to take advantage of this Living Social cou…

Making your ipad pay for itself or free is good!

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Source: google.com via OLS on Pinterest
Apple iPad 2 MC979LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi, White) 2nd Generation Yup! You heard me! That ipad of yours is a very cool little device...an multi-machine in one box kind of machine.  I am no expert...there are people that can tell you everything.  But this is what I do know!  You can get along without some of those devices when you buy your ipad!

I was visiting with a friend a couple of weeks ago. She had gotten an ipad and was busy taking pictures of the group at my class reunion. (No extra camera!) We were talking about how wonderful the ipad was and sharing our love for it. Then I asked her about using the Kindle app. to read books.  The look of amazement on her face caught me off guard. "You can buy a Kindle to use on your ipad?" came out of her mouth before I could tell her more about her ipad choices. The truth of the matter is Kindle App IS FREE on your ipad!

Good stuff on your ipad: Kindle is free.  Amazon wants you to buy books …

Retirement in a Modular homes: Is "Affordable" Really a Trap?

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Moving or buying a retirement home? Buying a modular? Is it going to be put on leased land? Did anyone tell you what that really means?

For example:  Did they tell you that the piece of real estate you are placing your trail home, modular or park model on is land that is designated as land for transitional use? No. You need to be aware of what that term means.

In the world of land use planning, land that is not ripe for development can be used for non-permanent purposes until the time is right for something more lucrative. Storage unites, temporary structures, dog kennels, and RV resorts or modular unit communities are a few uses that land can be put to and yet be converted without a great deal of expense or up roar for the land owner. The golf course you built on may even fall under that designation.

I was talking to a friend the other day that had bought a modular home on leased land in a planned community. It was sold to people as an affordable place they could spend the rest of th…

Pinterest Fall Colors...it's all in the Crayola Box!

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Source: tumblr.com via Tiia on Pinterest
Living in a small space can be a challenge when it come to shifting gears from winter to fall.  Here in the northwest the air is already beginning to feel a little fallish.  So I am thinking about what I can do so that we can have a change without breaking the bank.  Ya-know-what-I-mean?

Summer buying season is over so outdoor furnishings are going on sale.  When shopping for fall in summer goods, I think the color is the most important thing. I personally love oranges and browns in the fall. Outdoor throw pillows can be found at Marshalls for example...the color can work and they will be on the sale table when the end of the season approaches.

When I look for colors in a new season, I always check the fashion blogs. The colors we love to wear should be the ones we use in our homes.  That is when we feel the most comfortable in a room...the colors suit our personal style.

Source: pantone.com via Barbara on Pinterest
Source: refinery29.com via

CNN said: "We dare you to take a vacation!" Or do retirees even need one?

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I saw an article on CNN Travel called I Dare You to Take a Vacationthat made me stop and wonder about the nature of retirement's relationship to leisure. Are retirement and leisure the same thing? Or is it only those that dream of retirement that see it as a never ending vacation?

Do you love to work and will never retire?  Are you even ignoring vacation time because you just don't need one? Or have you retired and you look at your life as a paid vacation with no responsibilities or work piling up?  Do you wonder why you would even need a vacation when you are retired? Or have you gone the other way and slipped into the habit of making retirement into a job. No one can replace you and you are  thinking you do not have time for anyone or anything. You definitely don't need a vacation.  Do any of these describe you?

Here are some thoughts how a vacation can improve your life.

Reigniting Your Enthusiasm
If you are still working and plan to do that all your life, you have trul…

How Important is Your Past? A reunion with my classmate family!

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When the class of 1959 from Huntington High School gathered for a group picture, it only seems reasonable that someone would say "Take the picture in black and white like the ones in our annual used to be."  I had just bought a new camera and could have taken the picture in any mode they wanted.  Black and white was their choice.

Isn't it funny how we can slip easily into a time that is long past? A black and white picture or a phrase will take you to places you had long forgotten. Smells and sights come back without any warning.  This was an experience new to me...I had left my high school world and never looked back. 
When my classmates gathered after 53 years for a reunion and a beautiful journey down memory lane, I felt sad that so many years has passed without ever seeing them.  There were 17 in our class in 1959 and 8 were able to come for the day in 2012.  
Why was this so important to me after 53 years?  Could it be that I needed some closure for my childhood ye…

Chinese Spirit Rocks: Why My Amana Stove "F-4"d Me

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Did you know that there are spirits living in the rocks?  At least in China.  Rocks standing in lots waiting to be claimed by lovers of rock spirits, dot the road side.  In the Forbidden City, rocks have been speaking their spirit language for many hundreds of years.  I learned a lot from the Chinese when we visited the very first time.  But, really, I did not think that I could ever wrap my mind around an inanimate object being in possession of a personality or spirit.  Boy was I wrong.  Let me tell you about it.

You see we really want stainless steel appliances in our kitchen because we are fickled.  Our new house has old appliances that were a part of the house when it was first built.  The stove is white, electric, down draft vented and faded. The refrigerator is also a little the worse for the wear.  The former owner had a parrot. The parrot ate the seal around the frig door. Who knew a parrot would do that! It also ate the seal around the garage door but that is another story.  …

In Oregon's Willamette Valley...because this heaven is calling your name!

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Filed Under:  Travel







Just because!

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Living Social @PDX: Touring the tiny (Helvetia) Winery

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Yesterday we used a Living Social deal-of-the-day coupon for a winery tour at Helvetia Winery. It included wine tasting and samples of Native American fishery catches on the Columbia River plus a wonderful lesson in history and Columbia River Inter-tribal Fisheries. The coupon only said winery tour and smoked salmon.  Little did we know that we were in for a wonderful afternoon.
The winery is located off of Yungen Rd north of Hillsboro. The tasting room is at home in a very old house that has been converted minimally leaving the kitchen intact with an adjoining small living area. The biggest change to the old house is the deck out in back and picnic tables located on the lawn. We were lucky enough to find a music group performing on the back deck and a group of small dog owners picnicking and wandering around with tiny fuzzy pets in tow. When we sat a small dog made itself at home in my daughter's lap. 
The wine making facility is located a quarter of a mile from the old house. T…

'Old Girl' Talk...Wild Hair in Unexpected Places

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I was reading Boomington Express this morning. Wild hair was the subject of interest today. I am not good at "girl talk" so a lot of this information surprises me. I was almost 65 before I realized that I could have something done to my nails, apply a little make-up and fix my hair so I would look and, consequently, feel better about myself.

We women  50-115 fight the fact that our skin, hair, and youth attitude is not what it used to be. I am here to tell you that all is not lost. We can make ourselves look wonderful good in spite of it all.  But here is the deal...you had better be willing to suffer some pain if you want to deal with a lot of these things! There is a cost for everything.

My hair has been a sore point since I first discovered a gray hair. I pulled them out at one time. It occurred to me that bald was not good either. That was the beginning of my dependence on hair color.  To this day I still put "hair color" stuff on my hair to improve the texture…

How interesting are you? 12 Conversation Starters

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I just read an article on the More website called
Memoir: Where Did Our Friendship Go Wrong?  I thought about this post because making and keeping friends can be so hard. I hope you enjoy it.
Have you ever been in the middle of a story at dinner when people began to leave the table to go to the bathroom?  I have...a lot of times!  It seems that what I view as "interesting" is (yawn) "I need to see the restroom decor NOW" compelling.  This can be embarrassing but then it is not too late to learn.  I am feeling hopeful I can share the conversation.  (And remember, this post is about what makes YOU interesting and how you can go about doing that.)

So, how interesting are you?  And better yet, what things do you do in your life that makes you more interesting?

Traveling (yikes!)
I always thought travel would make me more interesting. But, here is the thing we all need to remember...no one, absolutely no one...wants to hear about our vacations. If the people you are ta…