February 2009

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Here’s another quirky film, my friends, The Accidental Tourist.  Boy, oh, boy do I love this one.

The story centers on Macon Leary, an often mystified and somewhat cold man who lost his son to murder and his wife to the ensuing, yet quiet, upheaval.  It seems he will never exit the rather stodgy Leary groove of safety, sameness and unsociability, until…of course until.  There’s always that.  Otherwise, there would be no story.  Until Macon’s dog, Edward (an adorable Corgi), still grieving the loss of his son, starts biting people.

Enter Muriel Pritchett, dog trainer extraordinaire and, quite possibly, his polar opposite.  Her life is anything but “Leary Safe.”  She lives in a rough neighborhood, has a son allergic to practically everything under the sun, wears quirky clothing combinations (like my sweet friend Bridget), and sports the longest fake nails known to man.  Not to mention the fact she is utterly and completely forthright, giving him her telephone number to, “Call.  Just talk.  Don’t you get the urge to do that?” Rather bewildered, he tells her, “Not really.”

As Muriel enters his life, Macon slowly transforms, going from a physically and emotionally rigid man, speaking in staccato tones, to someone who smiles, laughs, and even dances.  But will it last?  For the Leary groove is a rather potent one.

Watch it and see, and when you do, you’ll also witness the the Learys and their awful sense of direction, alphabetizing the pantry, expressing concern for properly sized envelopes, the consumption of GORP (or glop, depending), and discussing their work: “I make bottlecaps.  It isn’t half as exciting as it sounds.”  The movie, however, is – full of laughs, crazy moments, and, of course, a few tears.


With the support of the Dewey Dental Clinic.   Though I am a rather vigilant brusher and flosser, I learned yesterday, much to my chagrin, that I had twin cavities!   Thankfully, the lovely people at the best dentist office known to Portland had an opening today, and voila, my mouth is as good as new again.

Seriously, too, they are really good.  I am a picky person.  I was a little worried when Dr. Wheeler retired, but the Dewey’s are super people and the staff is the same.  Kelly’s been cleaning my teeth for more than nine years!  I feel like a part of her family.

This is also my second post for the day, so I figured that the picture needed to be a little nutty.  Hope you like it and all the exclamation points!  What can I say?  I am a rather enthusiastic lady.

Oh, and Dr. Jeff – hope to see you running by the house soon…


I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid,

more accessible,

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed

goes to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

Dawna Markova


Under the Weather

I’ve got something brewing that kept me from getting quality sleep last night.  I woke up probably a half a dozen times, got a drink of water, listened to the soft sighs of my dear husband, and eventually gathered up enough fatigue to return to slumber myself.

When I woke up this morning, still a bit tired, my mind wandered, like it always does.  It went upstairs and looked at this painting in our TV room (by Gabriel Fernandez – a little overexposed but kind of dreamy and, thus, on order).  Then a poem came.  I scribbled it down while still in bed, cats grumbling at each other, competing for cuddle time with mama, feeling sleepy themselves.  Anyway, I liked it; maybe you will too.

Lusting, longing

For pillow-topped voyages,

Sheets caressing the legs.

Further into the cocoon, she desires to be.

Everything is at hand,

Suitcase packed for the conceits of slumber.

She waits in anticipation before realizing

The train has left the station,

Leaving a wake of morning thoughts behind.

In dread, she waits once more for its arrival,

Clock ticking back the seconds.

Colleen Sohn


A couple of weeks ago, I made my first trip to the Goodwill bins.  For those of you who don’t know about “the bins,” it is pretty much the last stop before recycling or the dump for the Goodwill. I had wanted to go for a while, but was seriously turned off by a former neat-freak neighbor who made me think everything was covered in slime and dust, and I would be lucky to get out alive.  Thankfully, my friend Maria had been many times and survived, and was happy to take me along on her last trip.  I learned, quite thankfully, that it is neither slimy nor dusty, well, not that dusty, anyway, but a little cold.

It is a pretty well organized place considering the nature of it – and like your typical Goodwill store, has the usual hodge-podge of items – furniture, housewares, odds and ends, clothing, linens, fabric, etc.  As the name infers, most of the items are in bins on wheeled tables.  There is great excitement and crowding when a new set of bins makes its way to the floor – fresh goodies!  Unlike a typical Goodwill store, with the exception of furniture and some housewares, items are purchased by the pound.  $1.39 for up to 50 pounds, and $.89 a pound for purchases over 50 pounds (don’t quote me on the prices, I’m not positive).

Pooled together, Maria and I had over 50 pounds, so we paid the bargain price.  It is astonishing how quickly it adds up!  This is what I got:

the lamp above, with the shade ($3 + $10 at Home Depot for a repair kit)

a pair of perfect fitting black leather pants (is this a midlife crisis?)

a nightgown

two vintage sweaters (one fisherman knit, the other beautifully beaded)

an apron

a crazy flowered housecoat (Oy, definitely a midlife crisis)

a tablecloth

a nutcracker – like the ballet

a cache pot

a small silver tray

a piece of Hawaiian fabric

Not bad for $25, including fixing the lamp (thanks for that Buddy).  The perfect adventure for tough economic times!

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