Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Pictures Worth - a thousand words, so they say. I was "flipping through some other blogs, ans noticed that not everyone is as "stuck" on photographs like I am. I guess photos just say it for me. I am not as eloquent of a writer as I would like to be, in fact I am not a very good writer at all or should I say author, but I think that I have a good imagination and good thoughts, but putting them on paper is another thing, perhaps that is why I use photos. Photographs give you the visualization that I cannot put into words. If I don't already have a photo on file, to express what I am trying to say, I will go out and take a picture, or look for one on the Internet. You know I was going to get a minor in photography while in college, I actually started on it, but I'll be damned if I could get through my Art History class! So I never got the minor, but I did enjoy my photography classes. OK I'm tired and have nothing more to say, so I'll look for a picture to apply to this post.....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Charity Auction Basket - If you would like to bid on the package listed here go to the url listed below. It says that only Oregon residence can bid, but I will mail to out of state residence - but you must bid through the web-site. This is for the Mrs. Oregon America Pageant, and benefits the Chris Dudley Foundation, you can read about the foundation on the web-site.

The basket contains the following -

By The Pampered Chef ®
•2 Tiles design small bowls
•2 Tiles design small square plates
•2 Tiles design Napkin Set
•2 Tiles design Beaded Napkin Rings
•2 Tiles design Tiles Reversible Placemats
•Tiles design Reversible Table Runner
•Pampered Chef Wine Bottle Opener
•Pampered Chef Cooking for Two Cookbook
•Chipotle Ranch Seasoning mix
•1 Bottle 2002 Viognier wine from Griffin Creek vineyards
•2 U of O White Wine Glasses
•1 Pack of Oregon coasters
•Duck Chocolate for two
•U of O Hazelnuts
•U of O Tailgater Mustard
•“O” Football Antenna Ball
•2 Green and Gold Spirit Poms
•2 Football spirit necklaces
•2 University of Oregon T-Shirts
•2 Duck hats
•1 U of O Football helmet cling
•1 Oregon fleece blanket
•Oregon mini-football
•Stuffed quackin’ duck

For the true Oregon Duck fans or even the wanna be Duck fans

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

WHY ME? - If you will recall just about 2 weeks ago, I was on a bike ride and literally ran across or over the kamikaze squirrel (see Sept 13 post). Well, this past Sunday I was out on a walk near a pond with Bob, he was a head of me a bit, as I walked through the uncut grass, I stepped down on a Garter Snake?!!!!! It was fine, it stuck its long red tongue out at me and then slithered on down the hill towards the water. But again I must ask; why me? The girl that brings stray animals into her home to feed them, the girl that will pick up a dead cat or dog on the side of the road to give it a proper burial, the girl that will wreck her car to avoid hurting what ever furry creature may be trying to cross the road. I just don't get it. Perhaps there is a lesson in the fact that I have stepped on or ridden over these animals and they were still able to "get up and go". I'm not sure what that lessone is, perhaps I'll figure it out in time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I want to Grow Wine - Ok well you know what I mean, I want to grow grapes and make wine. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be the next Chateau Ste. Michelle or even the next Ernest and Julio Gallo. This notion started sometime ago, I mean everyone and their brother is making wine now, right? And I sure am drinking my share of it, so why not try my hand at making my own, I might save myself some money and have fun at the same time. Now I may be adding this to my list of hobbies that have fallen by the wayside, but I would at least like to give it a try. This past Sunday after church Bob said "let's go for a Sunday drive". Ian was not really into it, I am sure whatever was going to be on Cartoon Network was much more exciting to him, but too bad, we were off. I had no idea that Bob had a particular drive in mind, but off we went to the Lane County - Willamette Valley, heck I don't know what they call it - Wine country, and I will be darned if it's not practically right out my back door!!! Rows and rows and more rows of grapes and these wine tasting places HEAVEN, absolute HEAVEN!!! I had to wonder to myself (out loud), if you could actually eat those grapes, you know were they bitter, sweet, sour what? Well I had my question answered after we pulled into the first winery called "Sweet Cheeks", they were the new kids on the block they'd only been open a few months. I asked if one could eat the grapes hanging from the vines, they actually gave us two bunches, one red, one white. In case you didn't know the grapes aren;like the ones you buy down at Safeway, they are really small, about the size of an eraser head, but I guess it also depends on what kind wine you are going to make with them as to their size. Wow and mmmmmm, the grapes were very good. Ian who hardly had anything to eat was starving so he took the bunches of grapes outside and ate them as he looked out on the country side and what a sight it was, just beautiful.
I on the other hand stood inside and enjoyed the the flavors of seven different bottles of wine, you know just tastes, not whole glasses or bottles. We bought one bottle a riesling my favorite. We stopped at one other winery and I talked to Ed, the guy serving the wine, not an Oregonian, but a New Yorker. Don't ask me the name of the place, I forget, the wine was good, I bought a bottle of muscat, kind of like champaine but without so many bubbles. OK So here is the point it was nice afternoon, a beautiful drive. We are still eating on the two bunches of grapes that we got, but as I eat them I am spitting the seeds out and putting them on a paper towels, one marked red, one marked white. I hope to take my little seeds and plant them, but I am not sure how, and have not had time to research growing "wine grapes", so there they sit on the kitchen counter. Soon they may get thrown away, or perhaps they will mold or shrivel up and die before I can get to them, but for now I will maintain a dream of creating Joelle's little vineyard in my backyard, who knows onw day I may be calling my friends to come over for a "grape stomp".

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Overworked-Overwhelmed- My good friend Laura said to me today, "update your blog". I new from the beginning that I am terrible about keeping a diary. The creative juices don't flow, the thoughts are just not there, and I am just too tired sometimes. But I do enjoy it when I can write something thoughtful or funny and share it with others. So when I started writing this blog the purpose was to follow my steps leading up to the Mrs. Oregon America Pageant, so let's talk about that. Here I am September 13th, the pageant is less than one month away. I have been feeling so confident about all that I have done to prepare up to this point. I bought the dress of my dreams, for about 75% less than I could have gotten it off the rack. I have been a size 10 to 14 usually a 12 for about as long as I can remember. My evening gown for the pageant is a size 6!!! I bought a suit for the interview portion of the pageant; a size 12, it is currently with the seamstress being taken in to fit on my now size 6/8 body. I am 42 years old, and I guess I should not be ashamed to say that I look and feel pretty damn good for my age, I am actually in the best shape of my life. I've never been obese, just at times heavier than I wanted to be, uncomfortable at times. So now here I am, I joined Weight-Watchers about 26 weeks ago, I have lost about 20 pounds in that time and like I said have gone from a size 12 to fitting pretty good in a size 8. So what is the big deal you might be wondering? It's a transition. I am afraid to go out and buy new clothes. At the WW meetings they talk about each milestone and rewarding yourself for reaching a milestone. I have a problem with that for some reason, I did buy two pairs of black pants because I needed them to wear to pageant appearances, that is how I found out I was in a size 8, but other than that, I am swishing around in clothes that are too big for me. Perhaps because I have not been this small for at least 25 years, perhaps because I have tried just about every diet in the book, and gained all lost weight back, perhaps I am waiting for another failure. Perhaps I just want to wait and see if it sticks, will I stay this size and weight? I love it, I feel great, I still have 8 pounds to lose, but that is another frustrating subject for discussion on another day. My husband calls me his "incredible shrinking wife". I wanted to lose weight, so that I would feel better, my motivation to get started was the pageant, I truly hated the thought of joining WW but I needed a kick in the butt and now I am happy that I did. So in less than 4 weeks, I will be parading my size 8 butt, (that will never go away), up on stage in a swim suit. How do I feel? I usually contain my excitement, I don't like to peak too early, I am anxious, a little nervous, and quite overwhelmed in some ways because I still have a lot to accomplish before 7 October. But I am prepared, I don't know why I love to do pageants, why do I put myself through this craziness? Again, that is a discussion for another day.

kamikaze Squirrel - yesterday I was on a bike ride with a group of people that I work with, there were four of us and we had about 10 minutes left to our ride; as we rode through Alton Baker park, I was riding in the middle of the pack and watched as a beautiful, cuddly, grey squirrel ran directly into the path of our bicycles, I watched in slow motion horror as "Rocky the Squirrel", ran directly under my front tire! Thump-thump. I gave a very typical "girl" scream and stopped my bike, as the guys roared with laughter. I looked back and thank goodness Rocky had hopped up, brushed himself off and ran up the nearest tree, he caught my eye as if to say, "it's OK sister, I know you didn't mean to run me over". But I felt terrible, of all the people in the group to have a run in with the wildlife, why did it have to be me? If I see a spider in the house, I am more apt to pick it up and put it outside, than I am to kill it. Of all the folks in the group, why did it have to be me...the only girl, who of course had to give out this huge shriek. Of course I was ribbed at work all day about "killing the squirrel", and I did worry all day about whether he was hurt at all. When I got home I got no sympathy, my husband wanted to know if I had brought the body home for dinner. I'll never look at a squirrel the same way again. I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to ride my bike through the park again without the fear of maiming the wildlife. Well to Rocky the Squirrel wherever you are, I'm sorry I ran you over, and I don't mind if you and your cousins continue to dig up my backyard hiding and digging up your peanuts.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Our friends the crawdad and newt.

Ian and moms first outing to the golf course together.

Monday, September 04, 2006

And What a Labor Day it Was - It was my intention to get up early this morning, and go for a nice long bike ride with Bob and then back home and take Ian to the golf course, which is what he wanted to do for Labor Day. Well I woke up much earlier than I had intended...0830, by the time I got myself together it was about 1000, so I decided to change plans - lets do something exercise wise that we all can partake in. You see Ian has this really cool BMX bike that he has had for almost 3 years and it is way too small for him, and he has a hard time keeping up with us on long bike rides, therefore Master Ian is due for a new bicycle, I just haven't gotten around to it. So instead of a bicycle ride for two, we went on a hike for three. Bob immediately had something in mind the Brice Creek Trail off of Interstate 5 and Cottage Grove about 40 minutes out of Eugene.

What a beautiful day for a hike, and the trail was more than we could ask for, just perfect. In all we hiked about 6 miles, and we found a wonderful swimming hole, like I had never seen before, it is my intention to go back and hang out there, before the summer is over. When I am out in the "wilderness", I want to see "wild animals", OK nothing too crazy, like lions and tigers and bears (oh my). We were not disappointed today. The first thing we saw was what we thought was snake skin. I saw this stuff that just had to be snake skin, but we kept seeing more and more of it, and Bob picked some up and said, "yup, looks like snake skin to me", but then we saw moreand more of it, and we were thinking that is one big snake! It was actually getting kind of creepy as to how big this snake or snakes had to be...... then we came to the conclusion that it wasn't snake skin at all, but it was some sort of leaves that had fallen. The snake story was more exciting though.
Along the way we came across several streams and waterfalls, and so I and I searched for some sort of wildlife, the first "friend" that we came across was a crawdad, I've eaten crawfish, but never seen one in the wild. It's always nice to have Bob along on outings because he is the brave one and willing to pick up the creepy crawly things......
We then saw a Oregon Newt, really cool!!!! Bob, disrobed, to jump into the water and get the newt so that I could see it up close and personal....MY hero. What a great hike we had.
My promise to Ian was that we would go golfing afterwards and that we did after a bit of a break and a snack at home, I took Ian to the driving range at Fiddler's Green. Now I haven't played golf in about 11 years, hhhmmm, Ian is just over 11 years old, you can figure that one out - it's called no time. But his grandfather got him excited about playing golf when he stayed with him last month and now he wants to play, with the promise from Papa that he will get a brand new set of Junior clubs if he continues his interest in golf.... so we shall see. Almost 10 PM, I am ready to fall out in the floor, but think that I can make it to my bed....... Not sure what excitement tomorrow holds, but it will be another busy day....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mrs. Oregon America Contestant photos from Portland Rose Festival Week and the National Anthem Project - June 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

GAME DAY!!!!!! - Well a group of my most favorite people in the world joined me today for the first Duck game of the season. The University of Oregon Ducks vs the Stanford Cardinals? The Trees?? hell I don't know what they are called, but does it really matter? What matters is the final score 48 - 10 Oregon!!!!! I went with my husband, my father-in-law, my son, my dad and my step-mom. We did not all get to sit together, but it was a great game and a great way to start the football season!!!!, I enjoyed it, I got mildly sunburned as did the rest of the family. Blanche (the dog) put on her U of O t-shirt first thing this morning - The U of O guidon hung proudly in front of the house, my fire hydrant was standing tall. We all had on our Duck Gear. I am soooooo happy to not just be at home in Oregon, but to be in Eugene, Oregon. What a Feeling!!!
Well I was slightly disappointed because I did not get my exercise in this morning (or so I thought), but we wound up walking to Autzen Stadium, it's about a 1 mile walk and we were in good company, plenty of folks were heading towards Martin Luther King jr. Blvd. dressed in Green and yellow. The temperature went well above 90 degrees today, and we all made sure to take in plenty of water, that helped but I felt dizzy quite a few times as I jumped up yelling like a fool. But I do suppose with the walk to and from the stadium, in the heat, I will count myself good for exercise. Tomorrow is a holiday, lets see if I can drag my lazy butt out of bed for a long bike ride..... better yet, let's see if I can drag my husband's lazy butt out of bed to join me for a bike ride!!! GLAD TO BE in DUCK COUNTRY!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

So here we are Mrs. Eugene and Mrs. Springfield at the University of Oregon/Springfield Chamber of Commerce 10th anniversary Tailgater Auction. What a BLAST. I had so much fun and got so into the spirit of the season. It was great to have my good friend Trudi Newman there to join me. "Sisters in the sister cities!!!"

Crazy He Calls Me- My son called me crazy, my pezo, partner in crime and craziness for 11 years. He actually said, "I think my mother has lost her mind". Well maybe I have but I had fun doing it. But I live in Eugene, Oregon now and I have been hit with the fever...DUCK FEVER and last night at the University of Oregon Tailgater Auction it struck me how excited I am for football season to start tomorrow. How excited am I? So excited that I came home with a fire hydrant. Yes, a real like 200 pound fire hydrant painted green and yellow. And so the next logical question was, "so where are we going to put this fire hydrant?" Well in the front yard of course, I was planning to wheel it out on game days and keep it in my "Duck room" at other times but it really is heavy, it may just stay where it is. So when you come to visit, you won't have any problem finding my house, it's the one with the green and yellow fire hydrant in front if it. Geeeezzz, I love Oregon.