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For a long time now, the hubster and I haven’t bought each other gifts. We’ve got the love of our dreams and the life we want, so it seemed unnecessary. Until. Until we bought this house and have been working almost every single day for thirteen weeks to fix it up. Knowing that we have about thirteen more. Having that giant dumpster in the back yard for more than two months, big time stinky smelly from a laborer tossing something other than construction waste in it, something oh-so FOUL. Hoping for favorable winds so we could open a window or take a break out back. Yeah, blech.

And then the realization that our birthdays are our FORTY-FIFTH! As a good friend said, halfway to ninety. Holy shit. So we bought a telescope for our mutual delight at star gazing and imagining what if? We looked at Jupiter Wednesday night and three of its moons, Mars, too, from our own, sweet smelling, dumpster-free yard. The wonders of the universe and height of splendor, peeps, the absolute height!

And because I don’t have the attachment for my camera, YET, I snapped photos of my yard gazing while the hubster’s eye was on the sky. Good times, happy nights, and more to come!

Be well…



Happy New Year, gentle readers!  I hope you had marvelous holidays.  Ours were fun, sometimes raucous, and blissfully peaceful – that’s life for you.

One of our ever-so-generous and much appreciated presents was a gift certificate from my parents for Amazon (Thanks again!), and we spent more than half of it buying up songs for the I-Pod: click, click, boom!  In honor of that, here’s a playlist with a wild assortment of the old and new to start the year off with an optimistic shake and shimmy, just the way I like it.

Also, just in case you’re not a local, the bridge is the St. John’s in North Portland.  It is not an overstatement to say that it is my favorite bridge in the world. Sure, there are others that are more marvelous, spanning greater lengths and heights, but none of them give me the sensation of seeing this bridge.  I can remember the first time, sitting so stately and serene to the north on Highway 30.  I gasped at the exquisite color and the fantastically Gothic arches, just wanting to hover, hummingbird-like and admire its beauty.

Back to the music – it might just make you gasp, too.

“Well You Needn’t” –  Chet Baker

“Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + the Machine

“God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys

“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo” – The Rolling Stones

“London Calling” – The Clash (also one of the greatest album covers ever)

“Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” – Paul Simon

“Riga Girls” –  The Weepies

“Up on Cripple Creek” – The Band

“Let ‘Em In” – Wings

“Them There Eyes” – Billie Holiday

“Fidelity” – Regina Spektor

“Stay by Me” – Annie Lennox

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult (Oh yes I did!)

“Star Eyes” – Charlie Parker

“In Between Days” – The Cure

“A Boy Named Sue” – Johnny Cash

“Don’t Stop Believin'” – Journey

“Move” – Bireli Lagrene

“What Is and What Should Be” – Led Zeppelin

“Les Portes du Souvenir” – Les Nubians

“Expectations” – Belle & Sebastian

“L.A.Woman” – The Doors

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To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.

Johannes A. Gaertner


Yesterday was a good day.  I had a great work out, a fun Nia class, a leisurely hot bath, and quality writing time.  I also did some web research on the hormones I’m taking and learned that the number one complaint about them was weight gain, especially in the thighs.  I cannot tell you how much better I feel about my tight pants!

The absolute highlight, however, came at just the right moment.  I was watching my usual 4:00 hour of television, waiting for the hubster to get home so we could head to the nursery and buy a plum tree to replace the apple in the front yard.  Suddenly there was a bright spot in my vision, and I knew I was in trouble.  The first trace of impending doom, the awful light show of a migraine.  I turned off the lights, closed the blinds, and put the blanket over my eyes, waiting for the pain that I knew was coming, disappointed that my diamond day was taken down a notch, bummed that the afternoon tree-planting would have to be postponed, and irritated that nothing would make my head feel better.

Well, almost.  When the hubster arrived, he had a box in his hand.  I could not remember ordering anything.  Then he told me where it was from: Arizona.  Kelli! My friend Kelli sent me a care package.  Suddenly my head felt a little better, and I cried at the kindness in the world.  In addition to the sweet card, pickled okra, prickly pear jelly, and the adorable zippered bag (all made by Kelli) was a deliciously creamy bar of hazelnut chocolate, but we gobbled it up pronto.   I don’t think my headache minded a bit!

How nice it is to have friends, near and far.  Thank you for the wonderful treats!  I hope you have a diamond day…

After what seemed an interminable twenty-eight days without rain, of living in a vastly foreign version of  Portland, the skies finally opened up.  I was watching television yesterday afternoon when I was hit by one of the most glorious scents – the first drops of rain hitting pavement – wafting through the air.  At last!

Thankfully, the the initially fleeting sprinkles were only a preview of what was to come.  As the hubster and I ventured out to the show, as my Grandma Frances would say, to take in The Brothers Bloom (more about that on Friday) on two-for-Tuesday night at our very favorite movie house, The Academy (two movie tickets + popcorn + Reese’s Pieces +  hard cider for the hubster + tip = $16!), the rain began again.   By the time we arrived at the theater, the drops had grown larger, more certain of themselves.

Much to my delight, the rain held steady through the gorgeous film, the tarred roads puddle filled and shimmering with moisture in the evening light.  At bed time, the gentle patter of drops on the tin shed roof lulled me into sweet slumber.  Thankfully, the rain has yet to cease, the sky a radiant combination of sun, cloud, and brilliant blue.  Portland, no longer foreign, is home again.

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