Saturday, December 10, 2011

Travel Withdrawl

Ok, I've HAD it with the cold fog.  VERY ANNOYING!!!  The weather anywhere else in Oregon is sunny and cold, if you can get out of the valley.  I miss my Florence condo.  It's always rented at the wrong time.  At least I know what I will do when I'm retired and the fog rolls in.....I'm outta here!!!

Aunt Mary and Dad, Melbourne Beach.  Oh, I miss Florida too.

The three of us on Melbourne Beach.  I wish you all could meet my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dan, they are super people.

Note to self, tilt head down slightly in self portraits.  On a private channel off the Indian River.  The rich people keep their boats in their backyard canal for easy access to the river.
Leaving Cabo.  Oh I miss being on a boat.

A large herd of dolphins, north of Cabo on the way to San Fran.

Manzanillo Beach

Kayaking in Manzanillo, looking at mangroves and birds (Joye)

Pretty fish seen while snorkeling in Manzanillo.

Our guide and Joye in kayaks, everyone else is snorkeling. Top side of the shipwreck, Manzanillo.

A school of fish hanging out at the shipwreck, Manzanillo.

Part of the shipwreck.

View from ship,  in port at Costa Rica.

Seems like the wind is always blowing where the palm trees grow. Costa Rica near the Coribici River.

This is my paradise close to home.

This is where you'll find me in the winter.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dancing Paint Brushes...

I have been taking painting classes from local artist Donna Beverly of Philomath throughout the year.  This fall Donna was going to have a show of some of her paintings, as well as juried paintings of some of her students.  I have two paintings that were accepted into the show, the only two paintings I'd finished up to that point.  While they were "finished", the painting weren't what I think of as my best work, so I haven't advertised the fact that they are in a show.  This month I have been working about 6 hours a week in Donna's studio, learning what I can about how to paint with acrylics and what my style might look like.    I've realized that I need to paint daily to get where I want to be.  I already have some good work coming along, and I'll be looking forward to that next show, I'm sure.

An example of Donna's work and the front of the show postcard.

The back of the postcard, with my name on it!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

VIsta & Vineyards

This summer I participated in a local en plein air art group.  Beginning in the spring we met weekly at various locations around the valley to paint outdoors and then have a critique afterwards.  This was my first year being involved in the group and I really enjoyed it.  I wasn't able to attend all the outings due to work, and was most disappointed to miss the trips to a lavender farm and a vineyard.  This year I painted at Garland Nursery; Old Mill State Park in Tangent; and OSU Sheep Barns.  Part of the learning process was figuring out how to pack your supplies so that you could easily set up where your favorite view was. At Garlands, I did pack my stuff into the nursery, but decided that was too much work for future outings.  I took a page from Kris Mitchells' playbook and worked out of the back of my car for the next locations.

Some of my past art instructors, as well as some of my favorite local artists (Tom Allen, Donna Beverly, Carolee Clark, Kris Mitchell, Lauren Ohlgren), are often seen on the outings.  It's so strange to find myself in the company of these artist, as a peer.  In spite of the talent present, the group has been supportive and friendly to us new comers.  I can't wait to do it again next year.

The view from my Garlands outing.

The view of my Old Mill State Park painting location.

My unfinished painting

How others were painting outdoors at the sheep bar.

In car painting set up at OSU Sheep Barns.

Lots of people showed up at the sheep barns.
The view I was painting

My painting as it was at the end of the day.

Just part of the paintings involved in the critique.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

August 27th we went to Albany's Art and Air Fair to see Joan Jett & the Blackhearts in concert.  I love the venue, the grassy hillside surrounding the lake with the stage on an island across from the crowd.  This venue allows people to picnic on the lawn with food, friends and alcohol.  We usually have a pretty big group and this year was no exception.

Those of us in attendance were Candi and Joe, Kris, Randy and myself, Jim and Charlene Burke, Joye Fukuda and Sarah Buhler.  Notably missing were the Valcenia's, Tom and Wendy.  Hopefully they rectify that next year. Not many people missed the concert as an estimated 23-25K people were in attendance, the largest ever to see a concert in Albany.  People reportedly came from California and Canada to JJ and the Blackhearts.

The food, friends and concert were all great.  Including the wonderful fireworks display after the concert, the best we've seen in quiet a while.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Time, time, time. See what's become of me....

While I look around for my possibilities.....

I need more time, that's what I'd like.  I'm thankful my life is so full, but I can't manage all that I want and need to do. My poor blog suffers because I'm so busy. I love Simon and Garfunkel BTW!

If you are a long time listener of Rush Limbaugh, cue up the old time "update" theme music...dut, dutta, lut, dutta, lut, dutta, lut......

Kitchen update:  Mostly done!  It's usable, but we haven't been here a enough to use it!  Ha ha!  When we are here, we've BBQ'd of course.  So I haven't had a chance to get used to the gas stove or oven.  That will have to be my October project.
I still have to primer and paint some new dry wall and add the tile back splash.  I haven't decided fully on the tile design and haven't had time to check out my options.  That will probably be a September project.
The refrigerator and garage are still a mess with things not in place from the remodel.  Those will be our first project, starting "soon".  :-)
The space we gained in the corner next to the refrigerator is my favorite place in the kitchen.  My Keurig sits in the appliance garage and is ready to make coffee when I get up in the morning.  I can make my cereal and coffee from that one space in the kitchen, as my cereal and raisins are in the "pantry" cupboard right next to the coffee maker.  I just have to remember to take my cup bowl and spoon over there.
Hickory cabinets with a "honey" stain.  A deep two bowl sink, in sprakly black granite.  Tile backsplash to come.  You can see some of the tile taped to the wall near the knife block. 

General life update:  Randy and I've been to Florence twice in the last few weeks and it was fabulous over there.  Warmer temps and not much wind.  Very relaxing.  There was lots of wildlife activity on the river...seals, seagull chicks and pelicans. We took another visit to Cape Perpetua, which I love.  Fun to hike the trails and climb on the rocks down to the tide pools.
We also spent a lot of time at Honeyman Nursery.  They have a very nice set up and I like looking at the plant displays and playing with the nursery's 6 cats.  George is my fav, he will climb all the way up you until he is up by your face.  What a sweetie.  This last visit we brought the truck so that we could return home with some rocks that we have been eyeing for a while.  This proved quite the challenge.  If a rock requires a fork lift to put it in your vehicle, it might require the same to get it out.  But not necessarily, it just won't be as easy.  It only took us two hours to move big rock about 25 feet.  Most of that time was spent trying to get it in the yard cart with jacks.  We ended up using 2x4's to lever it up and roll it, also some sliding/pushing on cardboard once we made it onto the grass. We were both exhausted, sweaty and sore by the end of this move. This rock is not leaving it's current location until one of us can't remember how hard it was to move.  That will be me, and Randy will say "as you wish".  :-)

One of our 2 new "glacial boulders".  Not as heavy as you'd think.

Oh yea, I want some of those...

Now THIS one weighs a lot!  They used a front loader to put it in the truck.

These guys weren't hard, they lived right here until we put them in place.

This big guy took us both 2 hours to move from the back of the truck to this location.  Randy says if we move, it's not.
Aaron Tippin at the BC Fair.  Great concert.

On July 30th Annie and I participated in our first triathlon together, the All Women's Blue Lake Triathlon in Fairview. The race was 1/2 or 1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run.  This was my first open water swim and I was very nervous about it. Especially after I saw how far I had to swim, OMG.  The swim totally kicked my butt, I didn't freestyle for very long before sidestroking.  Annie swam her 1/2 mile just faster than it took me to "swim" my 1/4 mile (my race had a shorter distance).  She rocked her swim, being the fastest in her age group.  The bike was fun, I love rocking on the bike after the swim.  Because I am so slow in the water I get to pass a lot of people on the bike. :-)  I had nothing left in the tank for the run and walked most of it, except when I saw the photographers pointed in my direction. My dad even showed up to watch the first part and take pictures.  All in all I had a great time.

A little bit more summer to come.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kitchen Remodel 2011 - Day 24

Ok, it has not been 24 days since we tore apart our routine, it just feels like it sometimes.  Really ready to be able to find things and have a normal schedule. I have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to post. I've spent a lot of time running around trying to find things that it will now take too long to order. I stalled on my sink purchase because I just couldn't bring myself to spend $544 on a sink, no matter how cool it was.  I should know by now that when I stall on making a decision, I'm not totally happy with it.  So I took an hour in sink aisle of Home Depot and went through my "process" to find my sink and faucet.  I need to spend time looking at everything and considering the pro's and con's.  Usually I put an item in my cart and then take it out, and repeat.  After all this time and consideration I am perfectly happy with my decision and that is what took place with my sink.  I love it!  I always pictured it as dark brown or black, don't know why, just did. I bought a metallic black quartz sink that has all the features I love.  This happiness spread to other decision areas....I see the hardware color now and an overall scheme is coming together.  I can move forward with paint, cabinet pulls and light fixtures.  I'm creatively unclogged!!!!
Today the guys are here and I've had my first look at my full sized cabinets, the wood and stain.  Awesome!  Going to go pick up the cabinet pulls shortly....

I don't know why, but I can't post pictures to this post. You'll have to stay tuned for the results.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kitchen Remodel 2011 Days 3 & 4

Day 3 I was at work, so I didn't get to watch as the day progressed.  I know that the hole in the floor was filled in.

Day 4:

  • The drywall sections on either side of the family room opening were put into place.
  • Proper venting for the over the range microwave was finished.
  • Insulation was put in the kitchen walls.
  • Ceiling drywall was hung.
  • Some kitchen drywall hung.
Unfortunately the guys had to spend a long time at Home Depot getting supplies.  The store just doesn't have enough people to help you when you need it.  

Charlie the site supervisor.  It looks good to him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kitchen Remodel 2011 - Day 2

Yesterday was a great day, why would today be any different?  Because it is.  Because there's a full moon.  Because it's a remodel.  The guys who do this all the time know that, expect it, and go with the flow.  Me?  My stomach is in knots!  I know when things go "differently", the ka-ching factor goes up.  That's like finger nails on a chalk board to me.  I also had to make decisions on the go, without checking to see what Randy thought.  I know he'd probably have come to the same decisions, but I hate that he might not like what we've done.  Well, it is what it is.  It is what it is what it is.....

Unplanned items today:
1. rotten floor boards under dishwasher.  While cutting them out, the outside hose bib line was cut.
2. Need to move the refrigerator outlet and water line out of the way of the cabinets, but there's a pocket door behind that space. Doh!
3. The last guy who put flooring in the utility room didn't patch the floor right and the patch dropped out.

The guys are good. They took all these extras in stride and are "ahead of schedule".  The prep work could be done by Friday.  : * )  Yeah guys!!!

Actions today:
  • Old flooring removed.
  • Hood system properly vented to the roof.
  • Cut out rotten floor boards
  • Fix hose bib plumbing.
  • Plumb water to icemaker vault.
  • Prep refrigerator electrical box.
  • Frame in wall opening and doorway.
  • Remove pocket door and frame in wall.

The young boys have the flooring out, now the "experienced guys" show up.  He's kneeling in front of the rotten boards that will be removed.


The plumbing is set and spaces are foamed in.  The hole in the floor is covered by a door and some chairs to keep the kids out of it.

That's worth a close up, beautiful work!!!

Refrigerator icemaker vault, with water plumbed properly to the pipes, and a new electrical box.

Filling in the open space and some of the family room walk way.