Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Brilliant Rainbows

Yesterday, driving home from the grocery store, I got to behold one of the most brilliant rainbows! After several days of one downpour after another, there was a break in the rains yesterday afternoon. It was so beautiful, I longed to have a camera as part of my phone--or a camera of some sort. Of course a digital pic probably wouldn't have done it the justice it deserved.

Since moved out to the rainy Pacific Northwest, I have seen several rainbows. I guess that is one of the perks of living in an area that rains 8 months out of the year! Growing up in MN, its not like I've never seen a rainbow before, but they're different out here. I can pick out every single color in the ROY G BIV spectrum. They are big and brilliant--and frequent!

Unfortunately, I usually see them while I'm driving. This could cause a problem because I am so drawn to them that I'm not paying as close attention to the road. :-(

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Halloweens past

I got a little carried away when looking for old Halloween photos. These are the ones I found--spanning my entire life (practically).

2 yrs old (1979) Raggedy Ann
I don't have any kids yet, so I'm forced to show off pics of me as a little girl.
6th grade (1988) Gypsy
At one point in our lives, my mom, my older sister and I all wore this outfit.
8th Grade (1990) Banshee
I went trick or treating this year, and nearly lost an eye to a tree branch because I refused to wear my glasses (it would've ruined the effect of the make-up). I was only a few inches from the branch before it came into focus.

1999 Trinity (from the Matrix)
This is probably my favorite Halloween costume, so I put up a few pics from that year.

2000 Vampire


I went to Costco the other day all by myself. It really made me feel like an adult. I've been to Sam's lots of times with my parents, but something about buying in bulk made me feel like I'd ventured into a new realm of adulthood. :-)

I was really surprised at how that store can suck you in. I was only going to make a quick stop to check it out--see what was available. The 15 min trip ended up lasting 45 and costing me $100. Guess I'll be needing to limit my stops there. Thankfully, it's over 30 min away, so the temptation won't be too strong to swing on by.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rule Breaker??

Nope. Not this chica.

In fact, it's so bad that I don't even break unwritten, unexpressed rules.

Have you ever been in a school (or any building, but I've only ever seen it in a school) where they have tape down the middle of the hallways and stairwells? I imagine this is to help facilitate the flow of traffic by suggesting that you stay to the right of the tape marks.

Well, I've had a couple of sub jobs in one such school in McMinnville, OR (Duniway Middle School), and without anyone suggesting to me this "rule," I inherently obeyed--even when no one else was around. Nearly everyone else that I passed was not following this rule, and yet I felt some bizarre need to stay to the right.

Guess that says something about me, huh?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Lake House

Starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves

I saw the end of this movie before I saw the beginning. Jeff watched it while I was doing something in the kitchen...I can't remember exactly what. Anyway, I finished up in the kitchen with about 15-20 minutes left of the movie. Even without seeing the beginning first, I still welled up a bit at the end.

This afternoon, I finally had the opportunity (after making and canning applesauce) to sit down and watch the movie from the beginning. I'd heard others say how good it was and Jeff enjoyed it, but still I was really surprised at how impressed I was with this movie. The storyline was quite intriguing! If it hadn't been done quite so well, it could've been quite confusing. Thankfully, the script was very well written and film was shot beautifully.

When I sat down to watch this movie, I did not really intend on writing a blog entry on it. This is unfortunate, because I can't remember any particular scene that impressed me the most. I'll need to start watching movies with a pad and pen nearby--just in case. :-)

Let's just suffice it to say...if you haven't seen this movie yet--Push it to the top of your list. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Take note of the beautiful shots; relish in the chemistry of two people who haven't even met.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

New running partner

I have been diligently running 3x every week since we arrived in Dayton, OR. I even have a cute, little running partner. It's actually kind of fun to run with little Skipper--except when he jets out in front of me to bark at another dog. He's nearly brought me down a few times!

This is a picture of us after one of our runs.

Usually we run in the mornings when it is still cool out; however, one time I didn't have a chance to run until around 1 p.m. It had gotten quite warm, and it really wore Skipper out. He just laid on the dining room floor and panted and panted and panted some more!!

We have been easing into our running. Next week will be our first week running more than 2 miles without any walking. I think it will be tough for both of us.

I have a running log online. You're welcome to check out my progress. Here is a link:;s=tcm2002
I update this log after each run. It's a great tool for me.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Book Review: Lick Creek

Very enjoyable book! Lick Creek by Brad Kessler takes place is the small coal mining community of (surprise, surprise) Lick Creek, WV, during the late 1920s.

It tells the story of young girl (teenage), Emily Jenkins, who lives on a family farm. Her father, brother, and first love die is a coal mine explosion. Her mother goes into severe depression dealing with such a loss and at times doesn't even bother to get dressed. Emily is forced to become quite resourceful in order to provide for her and her mother. She takes to gathering berries, mushrooms and making goat cheese, and then traveling to the city of White Sulfur to sell these items to the fancy hotel.

During this time period, electricity is booming. Many electric lines are being installed--some right near Lick Creek. One of the lineman falls from a pole during a thunderstorm, and his crew brings him to the Jenkins home. Having this injured man in the house, breathes life back into Ada Jenkins, Emily's mother. She nurses him back to health. During his time at the Jenkins, he develops a strong relationship with Emily.

One of the things that really intrigued me about this book was how different things were back then. Would any of us know what to do if a man came to our homes with a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, a gash to the head and a concussion? There were no phones (or at least the Jenkins didn't have one), and the nearest doctor was far enough away that he wouldn't be able to come until at least the next day. I was impressed that Ada knew just what to do! First aid was just second nature to her.

Just a warning...there are a few bad words in this book. Also, Emily does fall in love a few times, so there are a few scenes that are descriptive of this. I'd say it was nothing too explicit and it is very tastefully written, but just a warning that it is there.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Book Review: Neighbors

The next book I read was Neighbors by Thomas Berger. If you can avoid this book, I definitely would not read it again! Maybe the cover should've been a clue to me. The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking that the ending would redeem it for me...make it worth my time.

Unfortunately, this was not the case.

The story is about a family who lives on a dead end street. New neighbors move into the only other house on the street, and all sorts of trouble ensues. The husband and wife want to have the new couple over for dinner, but before they can even extend the invitation, the new couple, Harry and Ramona, stops by and sort of invites themselves. The entire book chronicles the rest of the evening and the next day. It is full of misunderstandings and complete and total misbehavior on the part of the new neighbors.

I felt that I didn't really understand the motivation of any of the characters. The situations that the characters got into were difficult for me to read--not because they were crude or inappropriate, but simply because they made me uncomfortable.

I kept thinking (hoping) that it would end with the main character, Earl, awaking from a dream. These situations were just too absurd for me to believe that they would be a reality. Instead the book ends (here's the spoiler), with Earl having a heart attack and dying. It turns out that it was all real and that the stress of the entire situation kills him.

It was such a disappointment!

Monday, July 3, 2006

Book Review: Devil in the White City

I've decided that I need to read more. I thought it would be fun to write up reviews of books that I read. I have a goal to read at least 1 book each week. Check back often to read reviews of the recent books I've read.

The first book is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it! Click on the title's link to find it on Amazon, where you can search the book plus read excerpts and reviews

This is not my usual choice of a book, but it was recommended by a friend. It is a non-fiction book. I usually only stick to fiction; however, this book really reads like fiction. Maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much.

This book takes place in the late-1890s during the planning and construction of Chicago's World's Fair. The story revolves around two men--an architect and a serial killer. These two men most likely never met, but their stories are both linked to the World's fair.

I thought that this was very cleverly written. Larson, chapter by chapter, describes the events surrounding both of these men alternating one with the other. This helps to create a lot of suspense and desire to continue reading. You will be very intrigued by the happenings of one man, and then suddenly, you will begin a new chapter about the other man, become very intrigued only to be shifted back to the first again. At times this was a little frustrating, but I thought it really did add to the enjoyment of the book.

I also enjoyed this book, because I never really knew just how influential the World's Fair in Chicago was. Many of the products and appliances that we rely on today find their roots at this fair. It is fascinating. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a work of non-fiction. There are pages and pages of notes in the back of the book. Most of Larson's sources were from newspapers of the day. It amazes me just how much research he must have put into this book. I can't help but wonder just how long the research took him.

If you're looking for something to read this summer, I'd definitely recommend adding this book to your list.