Friday, April 30, 2010

Trip #1 Home to Seattle

The truck bed is stuffed with our stuff – and thankfully protected by the canopy. (It's freaky rainy here in Salem.) The extended cab has loads of large glass-framed pictures and some fragile baskets. And our bikes are hanging on our new/used Yakima bike rack. (Thank you to dude in Tigard that advertised his bike rack on my fav - Craigslist!)

We are so ready to make this trip!

We’ll probably wake up at our usual 6AM...Mike will take his meds…I will feed and love on Sitka…we’ll jump into the truck and head north.

The next adventure continues…beginning in the AM…stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Packing, Packing, Packing/Hitch Mount Bike Rack Needed

How in the world did we accumulate so much stuff during our year in Salem??

I can remember clearing out our house in Duvall and feeling so satisfied with downsizing so that all of our “stuff” would fit in our 5x8 trailer and our truck/canopy. Heck, we took everything we owned all the way to Mexico City and then west to Guaymas before heading north to Salem.

And now while we’re planning our move back to Seattle we figure we’ll have to take at least THREE TRIPS! Well, only 2 with just the truck/canopy. And then the final trip with the trailer and Sitka in tow.

One thing we’re looking for is a hitch mount bike rack for our bikes. Anyone have a used 2” mount rack for sale? Send me an email at

Well, back to packing…

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dreamgirls at Keller Auditorium, Portland, Oregon

I had a “dreamgirls” weekend and I loved it!

Friday started off as another “furlough Friday” for me and most other Oregon state workers – no work, but no pay. I hate those days because 2 days' work awaits me on Monday morning.

On that same day, best friend Cheryl and oldest daughter Maggie (who begins law school at Seattle University in June) drove down from the Seattle area and checked into the Westin in downtown Portland. Coming from Eugene was Cheryl’s younger daughter, Abbie, who goes to the University of Oregon.

Meanwhile on Saturday morning I packed an overnight bag and zipped north to meet “my girls.” I got there around 10:00 and Cheryl and I walked the neighborhood until we found a nice place to have a late breakfast. I told Cheryl the details of Mike’s and my return to Seattle next month. It will be nice to have Cheryl close by again!

Before long the 4 of us walked the short distance to Keller Auditorium for the 2:00 performance of the Apollo Theater musical, Dreamgirls. As we waited in the lobby, observing other theater attendees, we got a kick out of the fashion “dos” and “do nots” – there was quite an eclectic mix of patrons. (Yeah, I know…I’m no fashionista myself, but I do ask Mike for feedback and I think everyone should take a good look in a mirror before heading out the door.) Abbie sat next to me and we had to hide our giggles more than once.

The show was pretty good. Maggie had some negative feedback about the dancing (having danced herself for many years), but the singing was loud and strong.

After the show we searched for a place for dinner and we decided on Brassier Montmarte, a lovely, little French restaurant that had some happy hour specials. I hadn’t had any in years, but I tried the French onion soup (when in France…) and it was very delish!

Cheryl, Maggie, Abbie, Yours Truly

We finished with an ice cream cone for Abbie at Baskin and Robbins before heading back to the Westin. The girls went to their room and Cheryl and I watched the end of the Mariners game in our room. (They beat Detroit, bringing their win/loss record to 6/6.)

We woke early this morning and laid in bed watching early Sunday morning news before hitting the shower. Cheryl, Maggie and Abbie had plans to meet relatives for breakfast before heading their separate ways. The valet parkers brought our 3 vehicles around, we said our goodbyes and I blazed home to Salem.

It was a dreamgirls weekend in more ways than one. I loved the vibrancy of downtown Portland and was happy to get a taste of our upcoming move back to Seattle. THANK YOU CHERYL!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homeward Bound

Perry Como sang the opening tune for the TV show, Here Come the Brides, way back in 1968 and the lyrics began with the following:

The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle
Like a beautiful child, growing up, free an' wild
Full of hopes an' full of fears, full of laughter, full of tears
Full of dreams to last the years, in Seattle
. . . in Seattle!

When it's time to leave your home and your loved ones
It's the hardest thing a boy can ever do
An' you pray that you will find
someone warm an' sweet an' kind
But you're not sure what's waiting there for you!

Ay yi yi...the skies are blue in Seattle. And the hills are green. And yes, I am like a child full of hopes, fears, laughter and tears...

I am a native Seattleite, misplaced in Salem, and yearning for home. After all, Seattle is the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and the whole grunge music alternative rock genre. (Thank you, Pearl Jam!)

Not to mention that Seattle is home to Costco, Starbuck’s, Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, Nintendo,, and Oh and did I forget to mention that little company known as MICROSOFT!

That said – Mike, Sitka and I are heading home on May 15th. We’re not quite sure what the future holds for us, but we’re ready for the challenge. Salem has been good to us, but we have family and friends in Seattle that we miss and we just don’t get to see often enough. So we’re packing up. The weird thing is that May 15th was the day we packed up and left Seattle for Mexico in 2008.

Oh and by the way, if you know of any companies that are searching for a talented, smart and funny paralegal, please send them my way!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Oregon Garden

Years ago (almost 30) I learned how to tend bar. And of my many mentors, my favorite was Sheryl. Sheryl was the best bartender I knew and I learned a lot from her. We worked together in a couple of different restaurants and, as a coincidence, I later worked with her identical twin sister, Sheila, who also was a bartender. Even more coincidental is that both Sheryl and Sheila are now teachers – just like my short-term career in Mexico!

Sheila and Sheryl or is it Sheryl and Sheila??

I had not seen either of them for several years. But last week Sheryl told me that they would be spending 2 nights at The Oregon Garden (there is a beautiful resort/spa on the property) and we made plans to meet there. So today Mike and I drove to Silverton, Oregon (15 miles or so from Salem) where The Oregon Garden is located.

The place is HUGE and in addition to the Rose Garden, the Northwest Garden, the Sensory Garden and the Pet Friendly Garden are more than 20 specialty gardens and features. Unfortunately, it was raining hard during our visit so we didn’t tour any of the gardens…next time!

But the rain was good for visiting in the lounge with a mammoth, double-sided fireplace blazing next to the couches. Sheryl and Sheila are very animated and entertaining. And I never get tired of hearing about their adventures. It was a wonderful afternoon with them.

And next time we really will walk around the gardens and take lots of pictures. But here is one little guy we saw.