Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This is a photo I took a year or so ago at  Edgefield in Portland. 

Wow has it been busy here.  On top of that, our net service was out when an underground explosion took out some major power lines.  The underground lines are supposed to assure that this does not happen due to ice, snow, etc.  I guess no one can cover all the bases, but then who expects the underground to blow up?  

Busy with what you say?  Well, Mom and Ron called and asked me if I wanted some fresh picked green beans.  Of course I did.  In my head I envisioned a nice bucket of beans.  Well... I got a cooler, a huge bucket and an apple box of beans.  YIKES!

After a full day of blanching and vacuum packing green beans, I gave a big bunch away and stocked my freezer with 17 bags big enough for two meals with the two of us... and 6 family celebration sized bags.
I was a whipped puppy by the time I closed that freezer door.

Then T came over with another big bowl of blackberries... which became a big batch of freezer jam and more berries for winter eating in the freezer as well.  I made them in pie jam and cobbler sizes.

For the first time in over 20 years, I applied for unemployment and it's been even longer since I was signed up long enough to actually collect it.  The hoops you have to go through are a bit crazy, but then what isn't these days?

Bear, Turkey, Squeaky and Max are coming to visit on Thurs!  Now that will be fun stuffs.  I guess I'll be cleaning house tomorrow. Ha.

So much for my life.  What's up in your neck of the woods?

Monday, August 23, 2010


I got up this morning and did what one always does... immediately went to the bathroom.  What a horror show when I looked in the mirror!  My hair which is best described as various shades of grey and white with some black walnut streaks... was standing up in a crazed loop over.  Sort of like a cross between this fellow:

Ed Grimley
and Willie in Free Willie when his fin dipped over.

Normally I do not look like o'l Ed.  I usually look more like Einstein in the morning, which does nothing to make me any smarter.

Below the Ed Grimley/ Free Willie hair do...
scary puffy eyes.   Think Kurt Vonnegut's eyes after a good hard bender.  Not just bags or even suitcases... steamer trunks!

Below those lovely-less items
the biggest grin.
Not so much because I looked so funny,
though it truly was laughable.
Nor was it because Boo is coming down to visit in a few hours, though that is reason enough to make me smile any day.

I should make you guess why I was grinning like an April Fool in August.
So here are two clues.
I've got Bette Midler singing in my head...
a particular song.
How about an equation; rhs=rhh.

Here is your mission:
Guess why I am walking on clouds
and what Bette Midler song is running through my brain today.
I've made it ridiculously easy, but you know
being very happy makes you a bit stupid, in a good way.

For once I DO like Mondays.
hee hee


Saturday, August 21, 2010


Just a brief update... yeah right... 
as if I am ever very brief!  Ha.
But really, I will try to be.
Lots of stuff on the agenda today.

The man is napping, so I have a few minutes to spare after doing the usual housework.
I still have several quarts of blackberries to bag up to freeze, a batch of freezer jam to make and a field trip to a yard sale for tools...
or should I say man toys?

It was a busy week ending with my first job interview yesterday. ICK.
Not my pick out of the jobs that I have applied for.
In fact, it would be my last choice since it's only 
3.5 hours a day.
That would require me to get a second job.
If I was not a public employee, I could get partial unemployment until it ran out and buy myself time to find the perfect job.
But I am and as a public employee we are not allowed to get any unemployment unless we are totally and completely unemployed.
Double grumble.
But at least it would be some income, so I am not turning my nose up to it and even if I get it and have to bag groceries or something in the meantime, I will continue to look for the perfect job until I find it.

The interview was not as bad as I imagined.
I even wore a dress.
I have not worn a dress in recent memory.
My interviewer and I had the same name.
They gave me a sheet with the questions on it so that I could read along.
I found that odd and distracting, so I ignored it and listened instead.
Is it me or is that weird?

The worst question was this:
If you disagreed with a teacher's disciplinary actions toward a student, how would you handle it?

This is a very dangerous question.
I was told years ago when I first began to work in the school system that I should never, never go against a teacher... that it is employment suicide.

Of course I did that once... ironically to the teacher who gave me the above warning.
The result was years of that teacher questioning and complaining about every thing I did.
She even managed to get a meeting together of other staff and the principal at the time to try and get me fired.  Fun times.
Of course it did not work.  I had too much support from other teachers.

So my answer was quickly and carefully worded.
I would wait until I had time alone with the teacher to ask her to explain her/ his reasoning...
they are after all, my supervisors and I accept the possibility that I might not understand the situation.  I would express my feelings tactfully and listen to what she had to say.  If I was still feeling that the action was not correct, I would then take it to another supervisor and abide by that decision.
But personally, the student comes first and I could not in good conscience ignore the circumstances.

I probably blew it with that one question.
After all, even the top folk in education have been teachers.  
Employment suicide by honesty!
Oh well.

Okay, so it goes with my interview.
But at least I picked up two applications for other jobs with more hours when I was finished.

Still looking for the silver linings.

One last word or two before I bag up berries and take off to man's toy land...

See those two up there?  That's Boo and Sukey.
I got a text from Boo this morning...
Boo, his new girl friend and possibly Nick are going to visit us on Monday.
I feel a BBQ coming on.

Other than that, no big plan for the weekend
other than replacing a leaking toilet ring.
Will the fun never end?

Happy weekend everyone.
Are you doing chores, taking it easy or going to somewhere fun?
Or perhaps a mix like mine?
Whatever you do, be safe and look for the silver lining in everything you do.
Life is still sweetest when you see what you have and are thankful.

Monday, August 16, 2010


What a giggle!

It doesn't seem to matter if I am working or not...
weekends are still my favorite days in the week.
Ours was pretty packed.
Saturday, I had a shopping trip with Randy's mom and then the four of us grilled steak and veggies topped off by baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and butter.  

I will admit one thing... I am not a shopper.
I am a consumer.  I go and get what I want and only what I am looking for, then I go home.
I went for the company, which I did enjoy.

Sunday was Randy's grandson's birthday party.

I love how the kids all get closer and closer as the presents are opened.
Typical of kids birthday parties... in the park, pizza, balloons, badmitten, laughing and running around.
It was almost 100 degrees, so we stuck to the shade for the most part.

All of Randy's family showed up, with the exception of his mom and step dad, who had left that morning for a cruise to Alaska.
Lucky ducks!
There were also friends.
And Randy's ex.


I do admit that I was nervous about meeting the ex.
Curious, but nervous.  I am older than she is, heck!
I'm older than Randy.
But I do pretend to be an adult and believe that in order to function as a family, we have to be able to get along.

It's fair to say that we ignored each other for the first hour or two.  Absolutely no one introduced us.
In retrospect, I think that was wise.  We each got to scope each other out in comfort.  Me behind my dark glasses for protection.  She probably did not give a rat's ass.  I obsess over things like this.

I think the ice breaker came when Randy made a joke about his daughter's butt being wide when she bent over to get something.
I smacked him in the arm and told him to stop that.
His ex says "Hit him again!"

After that, you could feel everyone relax.
I was glad that it was over and done with...
being the great chicken that I am, who avoids confrontation like the plague.
I did truly enjoy the day.

Why the big deal?
Well, from conversations with his kids, we knew that she was not happy about my moving in, though they had been divorced for a long time.
Not so much about Randy, more about the house.
Everyone has their hang-ups.
I can understand that.

The  party ended after a long afternoon but we moved it to T's house.
Yep... BBQ.
T's version of steak and turf.
Grilled trout, steak, homemade pork tamalies,
grilled veggies and a wonderful salad grown in their own garden.

We got home late and slept like logs.
Today... back to the grind of looking for work.

What did all of you do with your weekend?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


YIKES!  Where has everyone gone?

Funny how the blog community waxes and wanes.
Billy Pilgrim blasted off to Transfalmador.
(excuse spelling... I'm feeling lazy today.)
Who knows if he will ever return.
One had to go into deeper cover.
Everyone else seems to be off on vacations or just absent from my blog sphere.
Oh a few remain... phew!

Of course, some of that is probably me.  I have been absent too and in blog world, it is easy to fall off the map when you don't post.
My life right now seems pretty dull.
Job hunting is a bitch and not very interesting.
As you know I find the new trend of applying on line to be stressful and frustrating.
I don't even want to talk about the field trip to the under employment office!

One happy thing right now is my cooking.
Ha!  C4C... can you imagine that?
I have years of experience creating foods that taste good and are very cheap.
I overheard the man bragging to T that not only could I go to the grocery store with $10
and return home to whip up something
delicious, but it would last for three full meals or more.
Amazing what you can do with a chicken or pot roast and some basic veggies.

Its a good thing we have a freezer.
And we are living on the cheap.
Until we have jobs.  Gotta make that money go as far as it can.

So I texted the bear and asked her what her favorite "when we were poor" meal was... she texted back
"welfare burritos".
It was particularly funny since I had just told the man that I would fix those next.
Big grins.

The recipe comes from a time when X had just gone off to happy camp and I was left with four children to raise before I had annualized checks to get us through the summer months.
I was forced to stand in the food bank line to feed my kiddos.  
At that time, the government issue food was often meat in a can.  Dull, tasteless and probably not very good for you.
But, if you took the icky meat and smashed it up, then added green chili sauce, 
put it in a tortilla with some cheese...
it was transformed into something delightful.

Her second choice... chili beans on spaghetti noodles instead of the usual sauce.  Canned chili and pasta were also a government food bank staple.
So here is yer question today my friends...
What is your favorite cheap meal?

Randy loves "frito boats" which is chili, cheese, onions and happy peppers on fritos.

Are you one of the folk who look in the cupboard and see impossible combinations or do you see a challenge to make something different from what seems like nothing?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Easily the best concert that I have been to in a very long time!

This is The Scorpions at the Douglas County Fair in Roseberg, Oregon.  That huge screen behind showed them up close, as well as scenes and even clips from Scorpion videos to match the music selections playing.

The sound quality was wonderful where we were in reserved seating, but distorted a bit if you were off to the side in the free area... where the beer venders flanked the side.
But hey... you have to get a beer.

Very cool beans.
Can they still sing and perform?
You bet they can!
There were some amazing solos... especially the drummer's.

The platform that the drums sat on could rise way up or lower down.  I wish I had not been so enthralled by his performance that I stopped taking photos and missed the chance to capture him, standing like King Kong, arms raised and sticks up in the air, roaring at the end.  It was something to see.
I do not have the words to do it justice.
Rock you like a hurricane?
Oh yeah.
But there were other sights to see at the fair as well.
Like this guy who talked to us and begged me to take his photo.


I believe he said his name was Seamore.
He appeared to act independently, but was controlled by a man who casually pretended to be part of the crowd while talking into his drink straw.
That little dude behind was suspicious of him and I could not really coax him out to take a better photo.
Cute kid.  That's his mom and aunt.
We never made it to see the animals.
Or to look for the hat band that Randy wanted.
No matter.  We are going to our own county fair this weekend.  I can see the animals there.

My favorite Scorpions song is The Zoo,
people watcher that I am.
An appropriate sound track to one of the greatest "people zoos".
You should have seen the variety!
There were two women in our beer line who were so tightly stuffed into their skimpy dresses
that their boobs were exploding out the top.
We women were laughing at the response of the men that they passed.
Guess who sat right in front of us?
During the concert, when the big screen scanned the crowds, another woman bared her breasts.
The first time, Randy was not looking up, talking to a neighbor.  I gave him a sharp elbow and told him that he'd missed them.
He said "Well did you at least get a picture of them?"
"Too bad, so sad."  I said... an old familiar Ananda School phrase.
I think he thought I was joking, but she proved that I was no liar.
Of course he said the right thing after...
sometimes it's okay to lie.
I said "Good man!"

All in all, it was a fun weekend.  After the concert let out, we were all done in.  We made a short bathroom stop, then headed up a road toward the gate as the Scorpions passed us... close enough to reach out and touch the bus.
A sheriff yelled 
"Get back off the road or you're going to jail!"
Doesn't that sound a bit harsh?

The motel that we stayed in was right across the street from a shuttle bus...
a team of local school buses.
So which one did we ride?


The cool bus of course!
(sorry for the poor photo... hard to see in the dark)

Now we are home again.
Back at the grind of looking for employment.
I spent a grueling day yesterday on line, filling out a monster bitch of an application.
Three hours of frustration for a job I don't really want.  But work is work.
Gotta pay the bills.

Today we are taking a field trip to put in applications, visit the employment office because their site has been malfunctioning, see a lawyer and maybe, if all works right...
surprise his mom with a visit.
Time NOT applying is required before our brains blow out all together.

Hope you all have fun in your own zoos.

(I wanted to put in a video of Scorpions doing 
The Zoo... but Youtube is not cooperating.)
That's all folks! 

Friday, August 6, 2010


Here's another shot of the Cuthbert and all the folks on the lawn behind the formal seating.

This is a quickie... I have some household duties to do... dishes, as in put away... laundry... and generally getting the house locked up so that it is clean and welcoming upon our return.
We're off down the road about 150 miles to attend the Douglas County Fair.
I can't wait to smell the cotton candy and eat a corn dog smothered in mustard.
I get to see the animals... sheep, pigs, rabbits, calves... you name it, I bet we'll find one there.
Randy wants to find a snake hat band.  No doubt there will be crafts.
But my favorite part will be people watching.

Or at least until that evening when we get to see 
The Scorpions.

When I first agreed to this committed relationship
several months back, Randy bought the reserved seats for us.  The tickets were on sale for only about half an hour before all the reserved seats were sold out.  We got lucky.
Randy, who is a good photographer is taking his 35mm.  Maybe this time we can see their faces in the pics.  I'll have my own to record closer sights.
We are traveling in a group this time.  Friends, T and K and their boy, TJ, plus D and 2D and the latter's girlfriend that everyone calls "the bitch".
I have not met her yet, but have been forewarned.
We'll see what happens when one spoiled brat has to deal with another.  hee hee
Don't worry, I'll behave.

So all of you... have a safe and wonderful weekend.
What are you doing anyway?

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Welcome to the Cuthbert amphitheater.
I absolutely loved this place.
First off because of the name.  In Stephen King's Gunslinger series, Cuthbert was the childhood friend of main character, Roland.  That series is by far my favorite of all of King's writings.

But you have to love the place itself.  To get in here, you walk down a short path through some woods, over a wide footbridge that crosses a river and into the gates.  The river you cross is behind the stage where you see all those trees.  Ducks swim in the river and fly across the sky alone or in small groups.
It is charming to say the least.
Certainly not the largest amphitheater that I have ever visited.  But, that is another plus.  You can buy reserve seating down in the front 15 rows... and five of those were chairs set up close.  Most people enjoyed spreading blankets on the lawn or chairs brought from home.  Picnic baskets abound.  Little kids through geezers dance around.

We brought our chairs.
However, they were too tall.  Your butt can only be six inches above the ground.  So a lovely blond babysat our chairs for us by the gate.

I am not a laid back person.
I am hyper and easily excited when not getting my way.  A brat.

Randy is though.  He accepted this with way more grace than I was feeling, so I kept my yap shut.  But I knew my butt would go numb quickly sitting on the lawn.  Grumble.

The good fortune fairy smiled on us and showed us to nice seats in the 17th row... smack dab in the center.
Not bad for general admission.  I have paid reserved prices for much worse seating.  I have to give kudos to the staff here... they did everything they could to make sure that everyone had a wonderful time.

We did our version of a picnic... a foot long subway cold cut combo and sodas brought from home.
You can't bring in booze of any sort.
You have to buy their booze.  At six bucks for a beer or glass of wine, 
well... we opted for alcohol free viewing.
No one checked our bag.  We could have brought a thermos of mixed cocktails I suppose.  
Maybe next time.

All in all, we had a great time.  The first act was a gal by herself from Portland.
Not my cup of tea... that sort of depressing new age version of old country western... minus the dog and the truck.  You know the sort.  Love does not work out, the guy cheats, whine.

I made it through that hour by people watching.
Randy leans over and says 
"Why is everyone here so old?"  
Yeah, a mostly geezer audience, but that changed the closer we got to Pat Benatar.
I guess only geezers show up an hour early.

See the geezer in the hat next to grandma?
Yeah, they stood up and swayed around in front of me for the whole two hours that Pat and Spider were doing their thing.  It looks like I have a great view... and I would have if they had sat down.
So I watched a fractured flicker of the show, playing peek a boo with grandma and geezer.

Toward the end, I stood up too.
But at least I had the courtesy to check behind me to see if I was blocking anyone else first.  
Nope, geezer and grandma ran them all off.
Only the techs were behind me at that point.

It was a very cozy show too.
Pat and Spider talked about their life and their songs.
They joked about Oregon water... which we are sure was NOT water at all.
Spider donned a duck hat!
Duck fan that I am, he grabbed my heart on that one.
Fun stuffs!  Great show!
Let me tell you... for age 57, Pat looks fantastic and sounds even better.
She can still belt it out as if she was 20.

Even our trip home was a gift.
We managed to find a perfect parking spot for escape and made the exit quickly.
Then it was time for a drink and a bit of TV before bed.  Perfect.