Monday, June 30, 2008

Urban Wilderness


The two women with dogs passed me seemingly effortlessly on the uphill climb. The path leveled out and I caught my breath and pulled the apple I had brought for breakfast out of my bag. As I finished the apple and tossed the core far over the steep, forested slope, the trail wound upwards once again. Disheartened at the prospect, I turned back for the easier return trip. I was attempting to photograph a flashy, orange turks-head lily when I heard a loud, high-pitched chattering. I looked up to see the unmistakable red crests of several pileated woodpeckers on a far-off tree trunk.

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Somehow the morning was magically transformed in that single moment. My nostrils were filled with the pungent, earthy aroma of the forest floor with its decaying leaf layer. The sweet, clear notes of birdsong filled the air, relegating the sounds of traffic to a distant, forgotten land. My eyes drank in green in shady tones and sunlit tones. Even the warm morning air, which had already caused me to shed the light jacket I had worn, seemed to soften; stirring the leaves and cooling my face.

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By the time the trail turned to limestone and the traffic noise began to crescendo again, my morning walk had become full of the magic of this wild place, so close to the city, and yet so far away.

~

Rose

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Decor

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Ki'il wanted to get me a plant for a housewarming gift, so we chose these greens and potted them this afternoon.
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rc

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Downtime

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After a nice weekend at work, I've just been relaxing and hanging out with Ki'il. We drank margaritas Sunday night, yesterday we went to the movies to see SATC, and today we went to Sauvie Island and picked strawberries. The weather has been perfect: sunny and breezy but not too hot. Tonight, Ki'il is making a curry that smells really wonderful. Oh, and I gave myself a nice short buzzcut for summer.
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Blogger is still working wretchedly, so I will attempt to post this prosaic post while it still appears to be functional.
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Rose

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friends and Food

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Ki'il and the Scholar have been here all week. Yesterday, Ki'il and I took the bus to town. We went to Powell's, where I bought a few small books to take with me on vacation. We walked up and down the streets, enjoying the architecture and people watching. We had lunch at a small Japanese restaurant where we shared delicious sushi. Then we strolled through Waterfront Park, taking in the boats, the geese, the bikers and runners and walkers, the yogis, and the ubiquitous springtime lovers lounging in the grass.
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Today we went out for Korean barbecue. We had all manner of delightful Korean foods after suffering through suburban traffic that was much worse than city traffic. Blogger has been fitful, and I've been lazy, therefore the dearth of blogging.
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rc

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dogs and Names

jc likes to say that our little Shadowhead is his shadow. She really does follow him around a lot. His comment on her name got me thinking about all the dogs we had growing up.

Happy: Mother and Father bought the house they still live in to make room for a second baby when the Baptist Nun was born. Big M was devastated by the idea of the move. He was really attached to the little upstairs apartment in Port Matilda that he'd called home his whole, short life. As a sort of bribe or incentive, Mother and Father promised that he could have a puppy at the new house. Big M didn't really go for it, but they got a collie puppy anyway. She was a friendly, pleasant dog, and I don't remember her causing any more trouble than running off to roam the woods, occasionally for a few days at a time. She was bitten by a copperhead once and the flesh on the bitten leg shriveled. One day we came home from somewhere and went around the side of the house to find Happy's body. It's one of the few times I've seen Big M cry. I think it's safe to say that he wound up liking her better than the apartment after all.

Bandit: I don't remember much about Bandit, our new sheep dog, primarily because she was a One-Man Dog. She was devoted to Big M and they seemed inseparable, but she was barely civil with anyone else. I vaguely remember that she didn't like Father much at all. One day we were driving the mice out of the straw mulch in the potato patch and ending their lives with softball bats. Paul Fisher was there with us, standing at the end of the patch, bludgeoning mice. Bandit must have taken it the wrong way and decided to bite him. That's an unforgivable offence where we come from, and Bandit got a death sentence without benefit of a jury trial. It's what we called "putting her down", but just amounted to Father shooting her. At least that's what I remember.

Deputy: I don't know exactly what breed of mutt Deputy was. Grandmother got Ringo from the same litter, probably from some local farmer. Deputy's besetting sin was chasing cars. That must have been around the time that Father put up the fence around the yard. I think Deputy was finally hit by a car, but I'm not really sure.

Lady: After such bad luck with dogs in a relatively short time, we got a puppy from my cousin's dog. Father postulated that she might grow up to be a nicer dog if she had a more pleasant name. He thought maybe Deputy and Bandit had turned out so badly because of the cowboy names Big M had come up with. So the new puppy was named Lady in hopes that she would be ladlylike. One day Lady treed a raccoon. Everyone knows that 'coons that come out in daylight are likely to be rabid, and there was a possibility that Lady had bitten the 'coon. Father worried about the possibility of rabies and decreed that Lady should be quarantined. He built a long narrow pen with wood floor and wire fencing for walls and put the doghouse at one end. Even after it became obvious that Lady hadn't acquired rabies from her alleged 'coon-biting, she was still confined to the pen. She didn't have much reason to be friendly. Finally Big M took Lady with him to his new house. She died naturally at an advanced age. We found her lying out in the cold rain, but at least she didn't have to die in that pen.

Frohlich: When I moved to Utah, I got a puppy. I wasn't allowed to have an indoor dog where I lived. I don't know if I had shaken the conviction that animals should be kept outdoors by then or not, but Frohlich lived in the fenced yard. She whined and cried so much the first night that I took my sleeping bag outside and slept beside her. She was a Sheltie/Dalmatian cross. She loved to ride in the car, and when she got a chance she loved to run around the neighborhood. The best way to get her to come home was to get in the car. We went for walks and hiked the canyon together. One day when I was climbing rocks, she left the friends who were watching her to follow me and got lost. She survived a week in the wild canyon with no noticeable harm and was finally returned to me. She went back to Pennsylvania with me. One day a neighbor, driving too fast down our narrow lane, hit her. Sometimes I still miss her.

Big M has two new dogs now, one of them an indoor dog. I have my kitties. I don't think the names we give them matter that much; I think the love we give them is more important.

Rose

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back to Sea


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The weather for the Rose Festival was so crummy, and I was so unmovitaved that I never made it down there. I did drive by the Waterfront Village on my usual route to and from work both weekends. The waterfront is always lit up and pretty at night, but it was even nicer with the ships and the Ferris wheel. The ships went downriver by the house on their way out of town.
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We finally got the loft bed together and found a mattress. We shopped around and got a pretty good deal. Mattress salesmen can be really sleazy. One guy's price went up $100 in 24 hours. That's worse than gasoline!
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Ki'il and the Scholar will be here next week. We missed them and can't wait for them to arrive. (I hope Ki'il brings some of her kimchi.) I got a Korean language CD to listen to on the commute, and that encouraged me to get the computer program going again too.
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Today is slated for housecleaning. When I get out of bed, that is.
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Rose

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sex and the City- movie review


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We hadn't been to the movies in years, but for some reason, when I saw this at our little local theater, I suggested to jc that we go. I got a slice of cheese pizza and a Black Butte porter and we found our seats. About thirty minutes into the movie, my cell phone rang. It was Robin. She had just been to see it as well.
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Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha did not fail to deliver. I spent the two hours laughing out loud and wiping tears from my face, and even at one point fighting the urge to break down sobbing. This long-awaited film is a satisfying and fitting finale to the series that we love so much.
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Favorite quote: Charlotte York: "I feel happy every day." Me too, Charlotte.
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Rose

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Another View from Home

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If you considered the dearth of original photography coming from me lately, you might think it was December. I'm digging through old images that are still stored in the "Temporary" file, meaning that I was saving them to use. This picture was taken quite a while ago. The view is a lot more leafy now. If Portland can muster a sunny day this week, I should take a new one for comparison.
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All is well here.
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Rose