Friendship

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My friend Rob was in town, a single afternoon of play, and we went for the familiar, with heaps and tons of photos snapped at the Japanese Garden. I am going to miss these days, of him sending a last moment message letting me know he will be here in a day or two, and might I have an open schedule? Yes, of course I do. The timing is always perfect and our shared moments, too. We talk of the big and small and delight at all we find on the other side of the lens. I take him to tasty places and we mmm… and ahh… and laugh and marvel at the wonders on the radio.

And this time, our last in Portland, there was something of the magical. Walking back to the car after lunch, taking an unplanned route, a cat, as if it had been waiting the whole of the morning, bound down the sidewalk to greet ME. My heart leapt and I gasped, for it was no ordinary cat, but a near twin for my dearly departed Paris. She flopped at my feet, in the same way she always did, and I rubbed her belly and stroked her tail, marveling at the silkiness, the turn of the head, the tufts of fur between her toes. Paris. I love you, Birdie. I miss you, so very, very much. And she, in her way, told me she was happy, no longer in pain, running, jumping, flying even, into my heart, up to the sky. Forever and always.

And Rob, for his part, bore witness. Neither of us would have believed it had we both not been there. Perfect timing. Thank you, Rob, for coming, for being one of my oldest and dearest friends, for being here and there.

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Bittersweet

September 2nd and Facebook is populated with pictures of children, big and small, making their return to school. The bittersweet season, positively tired of sweating and stinking, showers that don’t “take”, and the crisp brown of spent life, eager for rain and green, yet sad to need a cardigan and closed-toe shoes.

We’ve been busy. I don’t usually say this because we make a concerted effort not to be. We are not the fill ‘er up and go, go, go, brand of people. We prefer turtles over hares, stopping to smell the flowers, sky gazing and such-like.

Not that we haven’t had fun in the midst of our business, au contraire mon frere! We had a smashing lunch at Evoe, and not a moment too soon. They closed a few days later (sad face), and I can only hope I can replicate mi amor, the Gallego sandwich, just right at home.

I don’t know exactly what the poster is about, but I like the audacious colors and the ballsy-ness of people willing to paper the world with their work.

My big smile has to do with the fact that, over the course of a single day:

I got to meet an adorable puppy – the floppiness, the soft fur, the cute face, the cuddles!

See my dear friend Susan (that’s her behind me, holla!) after a long absence.

Fit four people in the Mini! It was a first for us. A little fanfare, if you would…

 

Whoosh

I don’t know that you heard it. That whoosh was summer passing, glorious as it was, chock full of every little thing I love. Long walks and sunsets and star-gazing, and spending time with my favorite people.

Solveig and company visited Portland for two weeks, with five fun days at our house. We chatted in the dark and early hours, of the big and small. I helped with bath time, danced, sang, played, and laughed.

Oh love, how it sneaks into your heart when you aren’t looking. A fourteen year old girl with more baggage that anyone deserves, ten years later and she is my K I N. Silly, smart, lovely, and fine, and the best mom to little Luna, she’s made a beautiful life and a beautiful family. I could not be more proud.

An evening of fabulous Prosecco (Ca’ dei Zago – try it!) and good company with our friends, Don and Katie. Hiya!

Out at the Clackamas County Fair with our friends Pat and Kelly. They’re posing with our favorite pig, what wild ears it had! And the cute girl (I forgot to ask her name) is posing with her rabbit Mr. Cuddles, who most definitely lived up to his moniker. The kindly man above is hammering my name into a horseshoe! As a child who could very rarely find my name imprinted on anything, I am making up for lost time. Everything Colleen, and pronto! Ha!

I hope your summer’s been sweet and filled with all you love.

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And so it begins…

Breakfast in Pendleton:

Home of the Round-Up

Cabbage Hill View Point

Wallowa

Kombucha break in Lostine

Gazing upon the Wallowas

Toward Hell’s Canyon

Zumwalt Prairie:

Some fourteen miles of winding gravel wound us in and around one of the largest intact bunch grass prairies in the world. Vast, my friends, with us and the animals the only life for miles upon miles. I watched the hawk, a red-tail, I think, swoop down to seize it’s prey and carry it to the utility pole, the snake writhing and coiling some thirty feet from the ground. My heart quickened at the wonder and privilege of it all.

Filthy prairie feet

Wallowa Lake:

Our wee cabin was called the Fawn, and we loved it!

The baby robin was terribly sweet and let us get quite close before her unsteady wings carried her off.

I bought two books and some deliciously scented soaps at this gem of a shop!

Enterprise:

A sweet town full of kindly and hospitable strangers.

Arrowhead Chocolates

They gave us spoons dipped in chocolate while we waited for our treats. The hubster was in heaven!

Joseph:

Named for Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (that last sculpture is his likeness), Joseph is a prince of a town. With a world famous foundry, beautiful landscape, friendly people, and Stein’s top notch distillery, it’s easy to find a reason to stay.

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Hey there! Just in case you were wondering what happened to me, this is it! We redecorated the office and guest room, and it occupied much of our waking (and my sleeping) hours for the last month. We’d been meaning to do it for ages, but you know how it goes: time; money better spent on food, shoes, an evening out; no real desire to spend weekends attached to paint brushes and rollers. Yadda, yadda, yadda, a few years go by.

A fire was finally lit under our arses and here we are, pretty snazzy! I should also mention that we cleaned out the house, top to bottom, in the process. Furniture, books, knick-knacks, clothes, the random and sundry, all in neat piles in the basement waiting for a sale and trips to the thrift store and Powell’s.  My pocketbook is also happy to report that the only new items in the office are the desk lamps (from IKEA) and the curtains, which I made because no one had the color I wanted. I shopped the house for the rest. Hoot and holler!

And then there’s the color! We’d had a peachy-orange before and really liked it for a time. As soon as we started rolling this on, we decided it was kind of psycho and felt an enormous sense of relief and calm at the new color, winter wheat by Benjamin Moore, if that’s your thing. Cream fleece is the trim color, just a shade darker.

We spent a bit more in the guest room, and mostly at IKEA (that place!), chest, organizers, tray, picture frames (filled with my photos!), curtain, lamp, bedding. Though that toss pillow is from Target, and the bedside table was $1 at a yard sale eons ago. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it all turned out!

And now, a break for fine art: The big painting above my desk and the small square on top of the bookshelf are by our super talented friend Jamee Linton. The three mountain paintings in the assemblage are by Tim Deibler. The wide landscape and the center painting are by Ann Hutchinson. The cicada was purchased on vacation, somewhere in the south of France, artist unknown.

But wait, there’s more! Imma break it down…

Which I got from this fab song of my youth. Bub, are you reading? You know you are the reason for my love of Eazy-E!

The salad: farro, shaved fennel, green onion, dried tart cherries, toasted walnuts, feta cheese, orange & sherry vinaigrette.

The cocktail: Ransom’s Old Tom Gin and Galliano. Heavy on the gin…

The sound: Jack White. That voice, guitar, look, the man captivates me. Turn it up.

The love: two of my favorite people are getting married! Congratulations Matt & Kelly!

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