Friday, December 07, 2007

A few pix for the old year

Sunset: A ship on the Columbia River

I'll start with some photos from the end of 2007, in which year (as I notice) I didn't post any. [Note: now that I've learned to back-date posts, I may get around to adding some.] It's been a busy year - more on that later. I took this pic on December 7, 2007, at 6 pm from the deck outside my office on the Columbia River in Astoria. I love the colors on the river, and the quickly-changing weather. I think many of the pix on the blog this year will be about color.

December 2, 2007: A Lull in the Storm

Astoria had a near-hurricane early in December. This photo shows none of the damage. I like the colors through the rain. It was an eerily calm day as Lee and I drove through town knowing there was more to come. Click on the photo to see the house through sheets of water.

More colors, more rain

December 4, 2007, near Clatskanie, Oregon, on Highway 30 along the Columbia River.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beads from Colombia

Bags with Beads from Colombia I may not have the date right, but part of what TPF received as samples for potential inventory were several strings of seed beads dressed up in cellophane bags with hearts and flowers.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A visit to Smith Rock with Alex

I got a reasonably early start along with tapir friend Alex, who was visiting Oregon and came to Bend with us over the Labor Day holiday. I'd been to Smith Rock before and wanted to get there ahead of the crowds and the heat. We didn't completely outmaneuver either one, but it was pleasant and beautiful as always. It was a bit hot going up and down the steep hill, but there was a fresh breeze if you were in the right location. The photo above is taken from just below the parking area.

Here we are just starting up the steep part of the trail. That's Alex in the orange shirt. We went up and down this "Misery Trail," or whatever they call it, and did not hike down the back and all the way around along the river. I've done that before. It was gorgeous, but my plan was to hike this spectacular shorter route up and back.

Here's the view from the top. It was too hazy to have a good look at the Cascades, so that was disappointing, but Smith Rock is always breathtaking, no matter what. I had the weirdest reaction when we got to the top. I haven't hiked like this on a new medication I was taking for a vascular problem that, as it turns out, was misdiagnosed (yeah, no illness!!!), but bad, I was on this funky medication for a couple of years. Anyway, I got white spots in front of my eyes so badly that I virtually couldn't see. While I was hiking up and down the mountain, they disappeared, but appeared only when I stopped to rest at the top and at the bottom of the mountain. I guess it could have been worse if it had been reversed. I didn't feel faint or dizzy, but it was disconcerting. When we got to the bottom of the mountain I asked Alex to drive us back to Bend because I could barely see. After about 15 minutes, it cleared up. Fortunately, as I write this in January 2009, I'm no longer taking the stuff.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Labor Day Forest Fire, Cascade Mountains, Oregon

It was sad to see the devastation as we drove over the Cascades on the McKenzie Highway from the I-5 Corridor to Bend. The photos were taken southwest of the town of Sisters, Oregon.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunset from The Ship Inn, Astoria, Oregon

The food was predictably lousy, but the sunset was gorgeous to watch as Lee and I ate dinner. I'm not sure why we chose the Ship Inn except maybe because we couldn't believe the food was as bad as we remembered it. A lot of people seem to like the place and it's a local landmark, in the guidebooks, etc. We'd each been there separately, but not together, so we gave it a go. Today is my mother's birthday. She would have enjoyed the setting, but she was south in California. So, Mom, this picture is for you. A have three more photos of the sunset in my Picasa Web Album, "Astoria 2007."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Green and blue with seagulls

How amazing it is to go out the front door, walk about half a block, if that, and come upon such a scene as this. The algae, moss, and other river plants grow thick in summer and turn bright green in the sun.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sunset on the Columbia

Some days are just better for taking photos. This was one of them. It's a thrill to look up from my work and get a sense that the sky is doing something incredible. I grab my camera and get out there as quickly as possible. It's amazing how fast the changes take place. The sun's glow on the corrugated building is really something in this light, and the tower's pattern against the building is always a serendipitous touch.

If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you can see the silhouette of the bridge at the base of the hills.

I may not have money at this time in my life, but I've managed to make my home in the most beautiful places in the past fifteen years. I feel lucky, and I consider it a more-than-fair trade. Both would be nice, and I'm working on that. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the ambiance and the view.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Poppies on Harrison Street, Astoria

California poppies by the steps leading up to the Harrison Street house. I remember when we pulled the weeds out and packed in the new soil so that flowers would grow. We planted some kind of ground cover (I forget the name) which held the soil for awhile, then died, and finally the poppies grew. I love these flowers. I grew up with them in California, and they are magnificent when they cover fields and hills in large orange seas. They're also native to Oregon and also parts of Washington as well as other western states.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The red journal: Money for tapirs; lots of orders

"2007. Wed. Snowing today. Sent $500.00 each to Wilson and Sergio - 1st 500 to each. New projects. Photos from camera traps in Santa Marta, have not seen them yet. Toes done in 5 colors at A-Nails. Busy again w/Google up. IMPACT = Important Areas for Conservation of Tapirs. Some anger about not having a nest."

Well, there you have it. Journaling in unsatisfactory code. That was the last post in the red book. It's a wonderful book, but I'm either going to write unrestricted or not write at all. In fact, I seem to be capturing the scenes of my life with the camera more than with words or art these days. It's easy to forget exactly what thoughts go with them, but it's fast and graphic, and that's what I'm attracted to now.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Some cool wood animals in Mexico

Here are some painted wood animals I liked a lot. They were in the Hotel Westin, Puerto Vallarta.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The red journal: Eighty-seven plastic rhinos - the drought is over

I wrote:

"2007. Tuesday. Many overnights on top of each other. Lee & I were again looking at Pier 11 place when order for 50, then 87 plastic rhinos came in. More code fixing - up to 'hoofed' & part of 'insects.' He told staff about retirement ideas. What does renting a 'live-work space' mean to me & us? Lee & I looked at rental again. Wet floors."

I understand part of this, but writing in a small space creates half thoughts and vagueness that's hard to put together later. I have no idea what the first sentence means unless it's about working late night after night. About the rhinos - that's a great order. We were looking through the building again thinking about renting it when a phone order came in for 50 of the plastic rhinos in the photo, then he changed the order to 87. We had them - we had a lot. I think it was a rush order, which meant I had to get back and pack them up. And after such a horrible December, it was really nice to be able to do that.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The red journal: "The Goal" and Pier 11

From the journal:

"2007. Monday. I've been finding a little time at night to read "The Goal." Important business ideas. Looked at Mark's rental at Pier 11 w/ Mark & Lee, then w/ Sue. We all like it, but water is bad. Mark will make some changes. Not totally sure of layout."

You can just see the corner of Pier 11 - the red building at the left of the photo near the water. In fact, I wasn't looking at Pier 11 itself, but at the front part of the whitle building east of it on the same pier. It's been raining hard for weeks, and every flaw in the building showed to its worst advantage as far as letting the water in. In hindsight, although we all loved some of the aspects of the building, the layout would have been awkward to work with for what we needed. It's just as well that it rained.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The red journal: Change of pace

"2007. Sunday. Paid all bills & caught up with purchae orders. Lee came in late afternoon & packed backorders and the few new orders. Fairly early evening. He cooked tacos for dinner at his house. We read. A change."

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The red journal: Catching up

"2007. Sat. More web work w/ Lee packing orders. Coffee with Jane. I started on bills & purchase orders late, then stayed up till around 2:00 working on the accounting after he went home. Not many new orders. Trouble going to sleep."

Friday, January 05, 2007

The red journal: In a quandary

"2007. Friday. Lee still agonizing over retirement thoughts & option to sell biz to X or not."

Thursday, January 04, 2007


"2007. Thurs. The site came back up in google tonight!!! After exactly a month of hard work & late hours fixing broken links & messed up code, IT IS BACK ON THE SEARCH (POS. 3) 'PLASTIC ANIMALS'!"

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The red journal: I've about had enough

"2007. Wed. A lot of code fixing - reading & posting on Google webmaster board. Body hurting from lack of movement &/or from moving chair on rug. Back inflamed. Cramps. Need to stretch & exercise. Lee has been walking distances."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Second entry in the red journal

"2007. Tues. Somewhat rejuvenated after Bend although one day seems like the next working hard on the site. Postal holiday declared due to death of Gerald Ford, in his 90s. Lee helps w/ work of shipping."

Monday, January 01, 2007

A new year, a journal, and cloud waves over Oregon

Happy New Year! I'd told Kate that I was looking for one of those five-year diaries like I had when I was young. I always seem to find some way to journal (even if it's taking photos rather than writing), and I thought that during these busy years, the limited, organized work spaces would be a good way to go. My gosh, she remembered! I was surprised when I opened the beautiful red five-year diary. Due to my love of writing, we both wondered if it would really satisfy, but she got it for me anyway, and it was gorgeous.

On January 1, I wrote:

"2007. Monday. I woke up in Bend this morning. Lee and I have been here for the week. I did almost nothing but check code on the web site after our demise in Google. We drove home after noon. No celebration of N Year."

That's all there was space for, but it served to mark the dates. My Web site disappeared from Google around December 5th. I won't go into it now. It was a financial disaster. I spent the next month day and night doing anything I had to to fix it.

The drive from Bend to Astoria was mud, mud, mud. Mud over snow.

And then look at this! The sky is leaden, but the clouds are almost singing. I took this one somewhere en route to Astoria, but I don't remember where. I love the waves. There were some even softer waves to the left, but they're buried behind power lines.