April 2010

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Here is the utterly divine reason for my absence from the blog.  Hawaii!  We went for just under a week and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.  We’d been meaning to go for quite some time, but didn’t actually decide on it until after my surgery.  I was at one of my check-ups when my sweet specialist Liz poked her head out the door and asked an assistant to grab her prescription pad.  My heart sank.  I thought I was doing so well and was already chock full of drugs, so I had no desire to add another to the list.  Much to my delight, she handed me a prescription that read:  Tropical Vacation.  You’ve earned it!

I got home, showed it to the hubster, and we cried a little thinking about how hard a life with endometriosis can be.  We also thought about the summer we missed post-surgery.  We didn’t get to ride bikes together, garden, play in the sun, go to the fair, or even feel normal until we were well into fall.  So began our plans.  We’d have our summer in spring!  Oh what a summer it was!

These are all pictures taken from where we stayed on Maili Point.  We rented a small cottage that was steps from the beach and firmly rooted in paradise.  From this spot we watched boats of all kinds, surfers, paddlers, snorkelers, spear fishermen, whales, and sea turtles (Oh my!).  I really don’t think it could have been better.  The funny bit about it is that when we told the woman who inspected our rental car where we were staying, she could not have been more worried.  Waianae (Why-Nigh), you’re going to Waianae?  Yes.  She frowned, shook her head, took out a map, circled the area, followed that with a giant X, and the word NO.  Well sheesh lady, it’s too late now.  We’re going.  And so we went.  Aside from the heart palpitations I had from her fear, we had absolutely no problems, though we did have warmer, drier weather than the rest of the island and all the aforementioned delights.  We did see some homeless camps, and a couple of them were really big and quite permanent, but mostly the area reminded us of Southeast Portland: a good mix of  people, some with money, some with none, but all living Aloha.

We were treated to glorious sunsets every single day.  As our friend Kelly would say, “That’s why it’s paradise!”  We had a brilliantly beautiful night sky, too, with Venus just above the horizon, and stars, so many stars!

The cute cottage.  The flowers are plumeria and smell like paradise.

Our sleeping quarters – I put a vase of plumeria flowers next to the bed for sweet slumber.

The living room.  We moved the coffee table and practiced yoga in the morning.  Nothing like stretching to the sound of crashing surf.

Eat here.

Staring at the Sea.  Also a great album by The Cure.

We made a concerted effort to buy everything from locals and look goofy while preparing them.  Aside from the milk, yogurt (Nancy’s from Oregon!), cereal, and peanuts, we ate Hawaiian.  I’m making Kalua pork (bought in a package – I didn’t have the time or inclination to roast an entire pig underground) with cabbage and pineapple.  It was yummy.  We also liked the Pipi Kaula.

A view from our hammock.  Hammocks are good.

Another view from the hammock.  Palm leaves blowing in the breeze sound like rain falling and home.

I saw so many ladies with flowers tucked behind their ears that I could not help but join the crowd and squint happily!

The handsome hubster.  My favorite haolie boy.


This is the slogan on a much admired bumper sticker here in Stumptown.  Despite it’s lack of originality (copied from Austin, Texas), it certainly fits the bill.  Portland is an interesting place.  We are a pretty liberal city, except when it comes to taxing beer.  We have LOTS of strip clubs.  We make and drink a lot of beer and coffee.  We love sustainable everything, and reduce, reuse, recycle.  We like bicycles and ride them plenty.  We are  friendly, kooky, and somewhat unpredictable.

This past Saturday is a perfect example.  We joined a group of friends to watch the opening game of our football club, the Portland Timbers.  We met up at Kells, ate good food, drank some Guinness, and then loaded onto a double decker bus that would take us to the match.  This cheery green bit of Ireland had a bit of its magic, too, bringing out smiles in passengers and observers alike.  On said bus, I met a guy wearing a “Poop on Stoops” t-shirt.  I learned through a rather lively conversation that he was not, in fact, advocating delinquent behavior only slamming the name of the Texas Longhorn’s rival coach.  Alrighty.

At the game, I saw firsthand how football (soccer) fans, who are normally mild mannered adults, morph into wild and woolly supporters, flipping off referees, vigorously waving flags and scarves, chanting obscenity laden cheers, all while consuming copious amounts of beer (for more read Among the Thugs – slightly dated, still relevant, and very educational).  It was crazy and comical, and our team won!

Being who we are, the we decided to partake of a Whiffie Pie instead of drinking further.  One pint of Guinness is enough for this gal.  The hubster said it best – like drinking a loaf of bread – delicious, creamy Guinness bread!  So we walked from Kells and over the Hawthorne bridge.  In a particularly dim section of our walk we saw an inebriated trio coming toward us.  I held onto my wallet and hoped for the best.  I need not have worried, for all they wanted from us was a sincere opinion.  “Did you think David Bowie was hot in Labyrinth?”  Seriously.  Since I do not watch puppet movies and the hubster would never ever admit to another man’s hotness, they were sorely disappointed in us.  Sigh.

Upon reaching our final destination and while sharing the sweet goodness of a cherry Whiffie Pie, we were rather taken aback when we saw a bearded lady, also buying a pie.  She wore a long skirt, had long beautiful hair, and a full goatee.  Will wonders never cease.  The cherry on top of our evening was a man riding a bicycle that seemed to be an advertisement for a strip club.  Wild Party A Go Go!

I love you, Portland.  Stay Weird.

p.s. In contrast, I am showing you some pretty flowers from the garden – Belle de Nancy lilac, dogwood, and my favorite red tulip.  I love springtime, too.


It’s been so rainy and chilly here in Stumptown these past few weeks, with only stolen bits of sunshine and warmth.  It feels like winter, and I look a bit like Bob on this album cover, my absolute favorite of his.  I am bundled up and, perhaps, a bit weary, stern, and blurry.  But warmth will soon be at hand in these parts, I’m sure.

As I am no scholar of music, and I know of the importance of this album (considered one of the greatest of all time), I won’t pretend to know something special about it, save what it arouses in me.  I love the layered lyrics and the sense of wonder and pleasure I feel at the listening.  Is he cruel or kind, dreamy or rooted – probably all of these, for aren’t we all?  The man is thoughtful and gifted (I certainly envy his mad writing skills sometimes) and wickedly clever.  If you don’t already know them, read the lyrics to “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”  or “Visions of Johanna” and you’ll see what I mean.  Good stuff!

As well, I’ll be taking a break from the blog next week.  See you on the 19th or thereabouts.  Take care my friends!



Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.

Albert Camus


My mind is mushy, and I have been glued to my seat for nearly two hours trying to write a post.  I’ve deleted a lot of sentences and looked at a lot of pictures.  I kept coming back to this one.  I love that smile.  It is so alive and full of content, a pleasure every time I see it.  It reminded me of the times I was happiest to see it, like our wedding day, and when I woke up from my surgery last year.  I was groggy, and a doctor was asking me my name and if I was okay, and then Greg’s face appeared and I felt such a rush of love.  He was there and smiling at me, too!

I then remembered another occasion, long ago.  We were midway through our honeymoon, a two month backpacking adventure across Europe.  We decided to take a vacation within our vacation in Nice, as spending a couple of nights in a city before moving on was wearing on us, so we found a neat hotel that had a full kitchen where we could make our own food, enjoy cold beverages from an actual refrigerator, eat bowls of cereal, and loll about on the beach.  It was grand.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite enough.  We found that we not only needed a vacation from our vacation but one from each other as well.  So we made plans to spend the next day apart.  Gregory wanted to find a book to read, and I was keen on doing a little shopping and wandering the streets on my own.  It started out marvelously, for it was June, and the weather lovely, and Nice is a very walkable city.  I was strolling and enjoying the sights when, rather unfortunately, I encountered a man who perhaps took my street walking a bit too literally?  He decided he would walk with me, despite my sincere protests to the contrary.  I was not at all happy with this arrangement, but this guy would not leave me alone.  Thankfully, his shoe came untied, and as he stopped to fix it, I made a break for it.  I don’t think I’ve ever moved as swiftly as I did then.  When I looked back and realized I was free of his company, I was so elated!  But the exhilaration of losing him didn’t last long, as I fretted that I would see him again, and I returned to the hotel, slightly defeated.

Upon entering the room, I saw the hubster lying on the bed, his magical smile looking back at me, and all was right with the world!  As it turns out, his day was less than ideal, as well.  He tried to buy a book, but it wouldn’t ring up correctly, and the women at the store asked him questions, to which he could give no reply, for his interpreter (moi) was not with him, and the only sentence he knew was of ill use.  “I don’t speak French, but my wife does.”

It was a great reminder of how wonderful it is to be together, and so we have stayed.

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