Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Finally the end of July

I have finally come to the realization that July is a crazy month for us. We have an anniversary, 4th of July, my birthday, friends visiting, family functions, work functions, and just the day to day every day stuff! I was telling my friend Jill the other day that July ranks right up there with December. But at least next year maybe I can control the chaos, since most of it I create on my own.



We were able to take a day trip up to Astoria, Oregon. Yes, this is where the film Goonies was filmed and Kindergarten Cop. I had not been up there in several years but heard rumors that they were making improvements to the downtown area and my interest was peaked by Alicia. I always need to remind myself to get out and spend more time in the beautiful states we live in. We took Amos with us since it was his birthday too. But did notice that Astoria hasn't fully embraced dog lovers and we were limited to the stores we could go in. The restaurant had no problem with him though - he loves fish and chips.



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We couldn't have asked for a better day - in fact it was cloudy/overcast in town and blue skies here. This is the amazing Astoria bridge, I think it may be longest on the West coast but I am not sure.



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And here is the last working covered bridge in the state of Washington - Grays River covered bridge. This bridge was in amazing shape - it had been restored in  1988-1989 but it was first built in 1905. It was a fun little stop and Amos enjoyed a dip in the river.



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Good thoughts and prayers for Jake

My friend Jake needs your good vibes and prayers. He is my best friend's son and after 11.5 years with his donated liver - he needs a new one.



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He is pictured here with his amazing wife April - please send good thoughts and prayers over their way!!!



True talent

Can't even begin to describe Allison. I am not one to be easily brought to tears but the photographs that she has taken of my family are absolutely amazing...AMAZING! This is not something that some class taught her or because she has a big heavy camera with lots of lenses - it's because she has an eye for it. She has this innate ability to really know her clients and capture their personalities. I am truly thankful that she took time in her busy schedule to come up here and spend time with us. For those of you who live in AZ - you are so VERY lucky.



The first photo shoot was of my sister's family and then the women in our family. Click here to view!



And this is what I mean about capturing personalities - unfortunately this one didn't turn out because I am sure Allison was cracking up! But you can see the rest of them here.



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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Makes me angry and sad

Update! Thank you for all your support with this - Nike is suspending Michael Vick's line. Rawlings has actually ended their relationship with him as with Upper Deck, Donruss, Rebook, NFL retail, Dicks Sporting Goods and Sports Authority. Now it's up to our court system.



WARNING: I am getting on my soap box...very random and probably poorly written.



One of my passions is animals and to stop cruelty to animals. It sickens me to see what is in the news of late - I have been watching this case unfold over the last few days in regards to Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick. It angers me that because he is an NFL superstar he might be un-touchable. But I am hoping that the judge will have the balls to charge him, it's only 6 years max.



I also feel that the Atlanta Falcons team has totally coped out by their press release. It is unfortunate that what is more important is winning - because winning means more money. But don't they need happy fans attending their games?



It also seems that this Michael Vick has had many problems in the past - why isn't the team psychologist saying anything? Let's see... accused of rape, knowingly spread herpes, rage in an airport, cruelty to animals ... I think there have been enough studies that have shown that many of these attributes would constitute a PSYCHOPATH, pathological and known serial killers!!!



Another disappointing blow comes from his largest endorsement: NIKE. Here is the latest from them on this issue. Granted they are waiting to see how everything pans out, but why not suspend him for the time being? Here is the statement from their PR: "There is no change in the
status of the agreement between Nike and football player Michael Vick;
he is rightfully presumed innocent and afforded the same due process as
any citizen, rather than be tried in the court of public opinion,"
wrote Erica Pedreguera, Nike's public relations manager, in e-mail sent
to the AJC
."
While I understand her/their position, and even if he was not actively involved in the dog fighting, it was still his property and his responsibility. But the last time I checked NIKE - your business relies on public opinion, we are your customers. I actually don't buy anything NIKE, so there is no heart loss here and based on this poor judgement of PR, I will most likely NOT be buying anything that is NIKE.



Here is a link to tell NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell how you feel.



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's hot!

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My thermometer is reading 104! That is hot for the Pacific NW - it has also been windy, so instead of baking, we are in a convection oven. I know this is nothing like being in AZ right now but we are not used to this. And for some reason this weather is making me hungry - I have been eating non stop all day. Which is not good.






































































So today it's back to posting more pictures of my studio - this is my work space. Where the computer, printer and most of my day is spent. Now before you make any comments about the Pottery Barn Bedford desk set let me give you a few pros and cons, starting with the pros:



  • Efficient usage of space having a corner desk - allows for lots of working space and the screen to sit far enough back.


  • File drawers open all the way, but see my one dilema below


  • Great style


Cons



  • Expensive - especially the shipping, so if you can ship to store and pick up that is a much better deal.


  • Top file drawers open all the way BUT Pottery Barn did not take into consideration the overhang of the desk top by two inches. It is very difficult to get files in and out.


  • The finish on this furniture is nice but it will not stand up to rough use, children or dogs. I already have dings and scratches that won't come out. And I refuse to buy the plexiglass desk cover at PB for $329 - I am on the hunt for a fun desk blotter, but have yet to find one.


Before buying this desk set I looked at IKEA, Dania and OfficeMax. While they all had parts of the solution, Pottery Barn had the only total solution. Check out the album for my pictures!



Daily Grind: So like I said above I have been eating all day...some good things and some not so good things. I did go to my first yoga class today. Found out that I really need to work on my core muscles so I can at least balance without looking like a drunken flamingo! But I did like it and will go to another class tomorrow morning.



Saturday, July 7, 2007

Crazy week of July 4th

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1. Amaya, 2. Jenny, 3. backyard, 4. backyard, 5. chad, 6. Kirk, 7. Aleta and Nathan, 8. Suzanne and Leon, 9. Amaya, 10. Amos, 11. relaxing at Starbucks, 12. poppies at Edgefield, 13. P1000039, 14. Allison Krouse, 15. Jenny and Kirk, 16. Amaya



What happens when 4th of July falls in the middle of the week? The week just goes by in a blur! Two concerts, two parties, 3 pre-parties, and let's not forget to fit in the everyday stuff of working, dog caring, etc. Thank you for the weekend.



But no summer is complete without going to a Chris Issak concert. Jenny and I were trying to figure out if it is just that he is so adorable OR adorable, has an incredible voice, great sense of humor, and down to earth kind of guy?? It's all the above. I have had the chance to meet him twice - the first time was to get the drum sticks that Jenny got from the drummer, Kenny Dale ... not sure how it all happened but we were in the "pit" and all of sudden Jenny  found me all excited with a pair of drumsticks!!! She is amazing! The concert was at the Edgefield Winery, which is an amazing place to see/hear  a concert.



On the 4th of July is was all hands on deck to get ready for our get together - temperatures in the triple digits was making me nervous...NW people are not used to this kind of weather!



  • Picked up BBQ from Big Lou's, in Camas, Wa. Which btw, is the best place to get Texas BBQ in the NW, and what an incredible guy! Lou called us the next day to see how everything went. Good ol' fashioned customer service - LOVE it! If you are local pay him a visit.


  • Tested out our new margarita machine. Which I saw in William Sonoma but purchased from Costco - at about $100 less. Even my husband, who doesn't drink loves the machine for shaved ice! Fun for the whole family - but making margarita's is a little tricky and takes time perfecting with this machine. I actually prefer mine on the rocks but the machine is a social thing! I did buy the mix from William Sonoma - I think it's the best key lime margarita I have had so far.


  • Hanging paper lanterns in the back. I found these colorful lanterns at CostPlus/World Market for under $10. I also picked up some smaller ones that have lights that run on batteries - they don't get very bright so it's just for ambiance. The big colorful ones are not on the website - might be in store purchase only.


  • Backyard was pretty much done and ready to go - Kirk just had to do one more dog poop pick up and we were good to go. I am also looking at hanging some bamboo shades like this, in the backyard. This could have helped with the blazing sunlight but just didn't have enough time. Maybe this weekend?


  • Traeger Grill was ready to go. This was Kirk's Fathers Day present and he loves it - he has mastered hamburgers, steak, and pork chops. He wasn't ready to move on to the big meat yet. The key to this grill has been his inexpensive digital remote thermometer by Weber.  But you can't beat the Traeger for that smoky goodness!


We had a great time with friends and family - it was mellow until the sun went down and the pyromaniacs came out. Our house backs up to the neighborhood park and every family from a 2 mile radius congregates to watch and partake in lots of noise. It is amazing to us what you can buy at the fireworks stand now - some of these things are professional grade pyro-stuff! As in the words of Jenny - "these are adult fireworks!!!" It was also fun to drag Aleta and Nathan out of the city and into suburbia hell. And yes ladies that is not a mistake on the link for Nathan...yes, he owns one of the best shoe stores in Portland, Oregon and I KNOW him!!! He is working on launching a new website and will keep you posted when it launches. And our great neighbors Suzanne and Leon came just in time for frozen margarita's and Lou's BBQ. My niece Amaya was busy most of the day pretending to be a dog - can't blame her when there are three of them running around the house. She loved the dog door and loved Jesse's cat house (from IKEA) - she is a riot! Speaking of dogs - my dogs didn't mind the fireworks at all - in fact they wanted to chase them, which I think is much worse. But there is a picture of Amos by their 4th of July outfits passed out...just how we felt after the night was over.



Thursday was a work day - it was quiet but it was a much needed catch up day. Then it was back out to the Edgefield for another concert, Allison Krauss and Union Station. You might know the music from "O Brother, Where Art Thou"  - Dan Tyminski was the voice of George Clooney singing "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow". Allison Krauss has the most amazing voice - check her out on her website or at iTunes.



Friday was "me" day, once a month I make time for just me, by myself. It usually includes my facial, mani/pedi and a little shopping - I had time to relax before appointments, so I went into Starbucks for some China Green Tips tea. (I gave up coffee all together about a year ago) And found some fun and colorful drinking straws that you can re-use! This will be for the margarita machine Saturday night...but have you ever checked out the "The Way I See It" quotes on the coffee cups? I always love reading those, sometimes I am in such a hurry everyday I forget to look. This one says:



"There is a great deal one can learn from their parents. One is eating your vegetables. It's not that your parents are getting you to eat them, it's that they are teaching you that not everything in life is going to be sweet." David Warstler, Starbucks customer from Ohio.



So one last BBQ tonight at Suzanne's and then tomorrow I am going to lay low and maybe read (reading a fantastic book that Allison recommended: Helen of Troy by Margaret George) and crochet some more of my "ripple" afgan, but hopefully it will be spent in my backyard under the umbrella, not sipping a margarita... :)



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1. Margaritaville machine, 2. lanterns, 3. Traeger, 4. lantern



Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

It is seven years today!



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Sad to say good bye

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So sad to take Allison to the airport on Friday - we had such a great time and she was able to see some good ol' NW rain before she left. Anxious to see the pictures from the various shots that she took - I am sure they will be amazing! She did leave me with an amazing stack of books to read this summer after we stopped in at Borders - I don't need to buy another book for a few months. What I need to do is get back into reading mode, I miss reading and I miss the great conversations you can have with other people that read. The funny thing is, I don't like going to book clubs...maybe I just need to find the right one for me.



After dropping Allison off I had to run home and pack for a short weekend trip out to the Columbia River Gorge. The picture above is taken from the Washington side - the lighting isn't very good but I love this  lookout area on the highway. My hubby had his regional team meeting out at Skamania Lodge. We had a great time, it's always nice to catch up with the team that he manages and their SOs.



Daily Grind: I am almost positive after this weekend I am above my starting weight. When Allison was here we were pretty good (sans the berry shake from Bugerville) but this weekend it was not so good - stuffing myself until I could pop. And I was not sure why since the food was not great and I wasn't really hungry. In fact I have been tired. So we will see what the outcome is tomorrow...