Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving trip to Vancouver

So this year for Thanksgiving, I went to Vancouver, BC, where it was not Thanksgiving and I had no relatives. Lisa had a discount at a nice downtown hotel, so we went up for 4 days to explore the city and hang out. We ate lots of good food, drank lots of yummy cocktails, and walked around Stanley Park. Got to see Jill and Angie and Alex. Got to try on lots of nice shoes (and not buy them). Got to ponder what it would take to decide to move to Canada (not much). Saw the lovely "Girl in a Wetsuit" statue at Stanley Park. Went for a hike in Lynn Canyon Park and walked across the suspension bridge there.

It was all quite lovely until we tried to drive home on Sunday afternoon. It was snowing in Vancouver, but not sticking, so I thought we'd be fine. But as soon as we got south of the city there was more and more snow on the ground, worse and worse road conditions on 99. Until it was downright scary, there were inches of snow and ice packed onto the road, no plows in sight, and my car with bad used tired and sticky brakes. I was sure we were going to slide into a ditch (like many other people already had) at any moment. I had been quite determined to make it home that night to see Rebecca, who'd gone to Portland for a dance and was waiting for me at my house. And when it got bad, I thought we could at least make it to Bellingham. But no, it was awful and we didn't even make it over the border. We stopped in the tiny BC coastal town of White Rock, which I only knew about because I'd had lunch there with Ellen Stanley last year on my way to the Vancouver Folk Fest. Found a little motel off the highway and the one pub that was open, took a walk along the beach at night in the blowing snow.

In the morning we set out for home, had a hellish drive to Bellingham on still-unplowed roads, and then stopped at Les Schwab to buy chains (good thing someone knows what to do with these things... I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me). Got some bagels and coffee, got back on the road, and promptly found the road conditions south of Bellingham to be fine and then chains to be not only unnecessary, but annoying. So we stopped to take them off, one got stuck, it was no fun. Then maybe ten miles later of course the road got bad again, the snow was coming down harder and sticking. So on they went. So with all that, it probably took us about 4 hours to get to Seattle from the border, and then it snowed on and off between Seattle and Portland. I thought I moved to the Northwest to get away from this kind of thing!!

But we made it home in one piece by 7pm (only about 8 hours for what should have taken less than 5) and had Thai food with Rebecca.

The next day Willa (whose favorite city in the world in Vancouver, because she can stay awake for the whole drive and because there's a great yellow water slide there) told me she thought it really wasn't a good idea to drive to Canada in the winter, and maybe I should only go back in the summertime. Yeah.

Now I have to decide what to do for Christmas....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some quotes for the week of Thanksgiving

“But listen to me; for one moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.” - Rumi

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." - Frank Tibolt

"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." - Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., speech during 1952 Presidential Campaign

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

"I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter." - Blaise Pascal, "Lettres provinciales", 1657

“Who can begin conventional amiability the first thing in the morning? It is the hour of savage instincts and natural tendencies; it is the triumph of the Disagreeable and the Cross. I am convinced that the Muses and the Graces never thought of having breakfast anywhere but in bed.” - Elizabeth Russell

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Slacking in Blogland, shows...

Well, I've been slacking here in blogland... Busy, distracted, etc. I did add a few new blogs to the links on the right there, you should check them out if you haven't yet.

Here's a picture of me and Emma Lou, taken approximately 10 minutes ago (and inspired by one I recieved 20 minutes ago of Tracy and Miss Kitty, which may be available on request).

All I can really report to you right now is that my music festival business plan is coming along very slowly (but surely), the writing group is in the works, Holly has some very cute daughters (with lots of personality), and I went (with Lisa) to three really great shows the past weekend: The Dixie Chicks at the Rose Garden on Thursday, Catie Curtis and Karla Bonoff at the Aladdin on Friday, and The Wailin' Jennys on Saturday in Forest Grove. If you can see The Wailin' Jennys anytime on this next leg of tour (they'll be in Montana this week), I highly highly recommend it... Those girls have a good thing going.... Tell them I sent you.

And if you got tickets to Tracy's Portland show on Friday before they sold out today, that's good too! (And if you didn't, and you are a reader of this blog, I'll probably still let you in. Just say you read about it on my blog...) Or come see Chris Pureka on Wednesday night instead, or Edie Carey and Ashleigh Flynn on the 30th. See the Shining City link at right for details about both shows.

Oh, and Earthlink sucks. They are now telling me that DSL is not available in my area (hello!?!? I live in Portland!). I've been stealing a neighboring wifi signal since I moved, waiting for Earthlink to get it together to connect me for two months. Does anyone know a really good local ISP? Otherwise it may be Comcast, but I'm really sick of those big corporate ISPs... Any ideas??

Alright, I'll try to come up with something more interesting and literary next time. Here's one more picture, this one with more psychedelic lighting.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sentimental fall road trip to Missoula

I had a really lovely trip to Missoula with Lisa, though way too short. I hadn't realized how good it would feel to be back there, how much I missed that landscape. I had spent so much time worrying about bad weather on the passes, black ice, cold, that it had not occured to me that we might be going on one of the most gorgeous weekends of the year. That it might be clear blue skies all the way, comfortable fall weather, bright yellow larches and aspens everywhere. It was actually warmer than Portland when we got back, warm enough to sit outside on Saturday night.

I don't know how to say this in a way that's not cheesy or sentimental (yup, that's me), but part of my heart is still back there. When we drove up Highway 93 through the Mission Valley to Polson to meet my friend Sarah (and her adorable baby Alden) on Friday, my heart felt ready to split wide open. I didn't expect that bright blue sky and those shiny white mountain peaks to make me want to cry. I wanted to go walk along the road on the northern side of Mission Reservoir or ride a horse through the hills east of the highway in Arlee. But there was no time for that, we were on a tight schedule.

One of the main highlights of this trip was getting to meet all the babies that my friends have had since I was last in town. That's three friends my age who had babies this year. Sarah (my former Missoula neighbor, now married and living in Kalispell) and Russ had a baby boy in July, Alden. We went up to Polson to have lunch with them. Nina and Alex had a beautiful boy in March, Marquez, who we got some quality time with. And David Max (who I actually met in India) and his new wife, Jill, had a little girl in February. Her name is Alcyone (Al-SAI-uh-nee), which is a star in the Pleiades. Oooh, it all made me think about babies.... But I have at least a few more years to go. I wish I could see these ones more often.

Me and Alden, the red-headed punker, at a cafe in Polson.

Alden and his momma, Sarah.

Nina with Marquez, at Caroline's house.

Lisa with Marquez. He liked her hat.

Alcyone, the amazing walking 9-month old.

Me with Nancy and Marmot and their daughter Zoe, who I took care of when she was a baby. She's got quite the personality now. She didn't remember me, but came right up and said, "Where do *you* live?" And then gave me the entire history of all her owies and which kinds of band-aids she had. And as you can see, she loves to jump on the bed.

Willa particularly loved seeing all the babies in these pictures, as usual (also stay tuned for a picture of her in her Halloween costume).

One of my projects for today is to finally set up my guest room for my grandmother, Happie, who is arriving on the train from Seattle tomorrow morning for a weekend visit. That'll be good to have done. And good to see her.