Project 52 (8)

Since moving to Oregon, seeing deer is a much more everyday occurrence, but I still enjoy it and want to take pictures as often as possible. These two were at my workplace (and this was actually only the third time I’ve seen them there, though others do more regularly). My coworker called me upstairs and I followed them with the camera to try and get a variety of backgrounds. I think the closest I got to them was about 15 feet.

[PS I LOVE that my coworkers think of me when they see animals that I might like to see/photograph. I’ve had people call me about deer, nutria, a coyote, and the other day one of my coworkers came to my desk specifically to tell me about a duck and her baby ducklings nearby. It was so sweet of him! I practically want to send people cards for thinking of me in those situations.]

It was hard to pick an official project photo, so I’ll show you a few others that I liked.

Food Friday

Even though I’m not taking daily food photos, I do try to take a few here and there when something looks appealing. So here you go! Hopefully you agree about the appeal.

Some totally posed mashed potatoes. The butter was mixed in with the entire batch before I ate them. 🙂

Big Town Hero Arti-parm sandwich. SO GOOD.

Some frozen chicken dish that I just had to cook up in a pan. I’m such a chef!

I wanted to make some cookies for my coworker as a thank you for being so helpful to me. She’s not a chocolate fan (I know!), so I found this recipe for fluffy snickerdoodles (rather than the dense ones I usually end up with). They turned out exactly as I wanted! Go check out that page I linked to, because the photos there are better.

One of my coworkers brought in these beautiful treats leftover from his daughter’s wedding. I couldn’t help but take several photos of them. I didn’t try them, though, so who knows if they’re any good. 😉

Have a great weekend!

Thankful Thursday

The past couple of weeks have had some miserable moments because I’m such a baby about being sick. But in the midst of my whining, there were some really happy things. Here are some of them:

1. My heating pad. So good on the ear!

2. A new office chair! After years of talking about how much I need a decent chair for my computer desk, I finally got one! I was just getting so tired of feeling uncomfortable in a place where I spend so much time. I got one I’ve seen at the store a hundred times, but dreaded putting it together. I had a little help, and it really wasn’t too bad!

3. Delicious food. Padington’s pizza and Talenti vanilla bean gelato stand out in my mind. (It’s not ranch dressing, Dan!)

4. Wildlife. Fun wildlife sightings are always a lift to my spirits. This past week I’ve seen/photographed beavers, hummingbirds, dragonflies, frogs, butterflies, a snake and a nutria, among other things.

5. Alias season 5. I had plenty of down time and finished the series this past week. (It was fun to finish, but I’m a little sad that it’s over!)

6. Nice weather. The weekend was warm and sunny, but cool enough at night that my apartment handled it pretty well.

7. Salsa chicken. Yes, another food reference, but only because this crock pot dish was soooo delicious. The photo doesn’t really do it justice. Thanks to Brenda for the recipe. It’s super easy and more delicious than I ever imagined. Just put four chicken breasts (I even used frozen ones), a can of cream of mushroom soup, a cup of salsa and a packet of taco seasoning in the crock pot on low. I think it only takes like 4-5 hours to cook, but you can leave it in there longer if you need to. Stir half a cup of sour cream into the finished product and enjoy over rice. Seriously, it is SO GOOD. Try it. It tastes kind of like chili without the beans. I want to make it again this weekend!

8. Fun games with a friend. I love games! I love having a friend who loves games too!

9. Nice coworkers. I missed a lot of work (at least for me) during a busy time, but my coworkers have been really great about it, helping me out and insisting I get plenty of rest. I love the flexibility I have with my job in times like these.

10. Good friends (and family). People have offered sympathy, prayed for me, given suggestions and listened to me whine about my earache for over a week. One friend woke up to take my pathetic 1am phone call when I was at a low point with pain and worry.

TOP HAPPY THING: 11. Sweet relief! My ear is feeling MUCH better. Wow, it’s so nice to feel somewhat normal.

What are some of your goods from the past week?


Happy birthday to my aunt K! I meant to send out a card but of course I slacked off.

I just wanted to give a special shout out to K since she reads my blog regularly and often responds to the entries with nice emails. And right now I’m behind on responding to her email, because I’m such a good niece.

You know one thing I associate with K? Eggs. She makes the best scrambled eggs, and I have learned an egg trick or two from her. She can cook a lot of things well, but I think I associate her most with awesome breakfasts, since she provides them whenever I visit.

Anyway, have a great day, K, and thank you for being awesome!

Here’s a photo to break up the textiness of this entry…

[Unrelated: I took this from my back deck last week..notice the summery sky. ;)]

Dragonflies, etc.

A week ago today, I woke up with an ear ache. I really thought it would go away on its own in a few days, but seven days, two doctor’s appointments, dozens of prescription ear drops, four days off work (and one off church) and lots of ibuprofen later, I still have an ear ache. I feel better overall, but the ear still bothers me and I’m very tired of it.

But! I’ve been able to sleep more and have had some very nice ups with the downs. During one of the ups yesterday, I visited Ankeny Wildlife Refuge again and took several photos. Here they are, plus a few from home (WARNING: spider photo at the end, for those of you who hate those):

The right photo has a couple of dragonflies (damselflies?). I just thought it was funny how brave they were. Don’t frogs eat those?

This big, ugly nutria was swimming around in all of the clovery water. So gross.

Obviously I like taking pictures of dragonflies.

And butterflies! You’re getting three of these.

His wing’s a little torn up.

This morning I woke up very early and saw part of the sunrise. It wasn’t ultra spectacular, but I still took pictures (of course).

I can stand on my deck and take pictures of the hummingbirds like six feet away.

Sorry for those of you who can’t handle spider photos and missed the warning!

It’s been a wildlifey couple of days! I’ve seen beavers each night, but have resisted taking pictures.

This weekend the temps are up and it feels like summer. I really want some ice cream! Have a great Sunday and new week. 🙂

Project 52 (7)

I can hear bullfrogs by my place almost every day, though I got this photo at the nearby refuge. I don’t know if you can tell in this photo, but he’s just a teenager – about half the size of a full grown bullfrog.

I have more to say and more photos to post later, but I hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

The bad hotel

This post has no photos.

I wrote this up awhile back after having a dream that reminded me about it. I wasn’t sure if or where I’d post it, but I might as well put it here. This is my “worst hotel” experience (everyone has one, right?).

My cousin Stacy and I were on a road trip across Canada in 2000. We had made a stop in Edmonton at what was then the world’s largest mall, and on “Bourbon Street” (part of the mall) we went and saw a comedy show. After the show, we were talking to one of the comedians, and in our conversation it came up that we were headed to Winnipeg.

The comedian (comedienne, actually) talked about how horrible the mosquitoes are in Winnipeg, and that it wasn’t a good idea to camp there. We had camped for much of our trip, but used hotels when sites weren’t available or we wanted a decent shower. We decided we would make Winnipeg one of our hotel stops.

It wasn’t like nowadays, where you just get on your smart phone and check out hotels and reviews and such. We just had a travel guidebook with a listing of hotels, and after calling several (on a pay phone!), we finally found one in our price range with an open room for the night we’d be there. Booking hotels I’ve never heard of without seeing them first is not my favorite, but we felt we had no choice. The comedienne was very adamant about the mosquito problem.

So we rolled into Winnipeg one night and eventually found our hotel. It was over a bar, so from our room we could hear pounding music for much of the night. We entered our room from a creepy hallway with a regular key (not the key cards that were normal even then), and found two twin beds. ?? The room–and especially the bathroom–smelled bad. It was very unpleasant, but we were tired and had been driving a lot. There wasn’t the luxury of finding a better place, especially in the middle of Canada (which is a lot like driving through Wyoming or the Dakotas–you never know how long you’ll drive before finding civilization).

Because of our poor hotel experience, Winnipeg was tainted for us and we decided not to stick around after checking out the following morning. I feel bad now, because my mom told me how she had been to Winnipeg a time or two as a girl, and she had good memories. I remember she seemed disappointed that we had just left it without seeing anything, and I almost feel like apologizing to her right now! So I will: I’m sorry, Mom!

I feel like I haven’t really thought of or talked about my Canada trip to many people. I’ve talked more about the US trip I took in 96, but for some reason this one goes mostly forgotten. Talking about it now has brought up so many memories. I’ll have to tell you more sometime, if you’re interested. I could maybe scan some of my photos.

Project 52 (6)

I’m sorry for another flowers-in-vase photo, but I’m pretty sure this is the only picture I took this week! I’ve been spending free time on other things, like labeling thousands of faces with the face recognition software I’m trying out. Only like 6,000 more to go, though, so I’m on the home stretch. 😉

Independence Day Weekend (Part 6)

[These look like plant fireworks, don’t they?]
This is my final post in this series! Are you relieved? 🙂 If you missed the first five posts, you can get to them here:

Independence Weekend (Part 1)
Independence Weekend (Part 2)
Independence Weekend (Part 3)
Independence Weekend (Part 4)
Independence Weekend (Part 5)
Okay. So Dania was leaving on the afternoon of July 4th, so we didn’t have a lot of time. We had decided to make a trip out to Multnomah Falls since she had never been and it’s pretty close to the airport. Well, apparently everyone decided to go out there for Independence Day, and it was very crowded. There was also a wedding at Bridal Veil Falls, so every free parking space (and non-space) was taken.

Eventually we got to Oneonta Gorge (whatever that is) and found a place to park so we could get out and look around.

The tunnel was the most interesting part, and then you can hike below to a stream. We took a few photos, got to the end of the trail, and then headed back to the airport. It didn’t go as I imagined, but we tried. 🙂

The day didn’t feel very 4th of July-y to me, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s easier for me to pretend holidays are just regular days, anyway. There were some fireworks going off that I could see from my deck, but I failed to get a decent photo of any of them.

And that was Monday! Kind of a mellow end to this series, but that’s exactly how the end of my long weekend felt.

Now we’ve had another weekend since, which is kind of hard to believe. Work is busy and I feel so tired lately. I feel extremely tired right now, for some reason, and I can’t think of a good way to end this post. I’ll just end it abruptly.

Independence Weekend (Part 5)

After an eventful trip up to Seattle, I wanted some down time. I decided Sunday should be low key, which might’ve been a little boring for Dania, but she was nice about it.

I don’t watch a ton of movies, so it was weird that we watched three movies that day! First it was Somewhere In Time, because Dania had never seen it. Who has seen that? I first saw it at age 6 and was fascinated, for some reason.

[Dania on the porch at the Bush House.]
In the evening we took a drive to Bush Park so we could take a few photos at the rose garden, etc. It wasn’t really the best time of day for pictures, so I’m not happy with mine, but I’ve put some in this post anyway.

[I experimented with shooting into the sun.]
On our way home we ordered up some delicious Padington’s pizza and rented a movie from the Blockbuster “vending machine” at Safeway. I’d never used that or Red Box before, so Dania showed me the ropes and we chose Just Go With It. It was pretty funny/cute, but also had some of Adam Sandler’s typical weird/over-the-top humor that makes me cringe.

We later put in Last Holiday (all these girly movies!) while we played Scrabble. If you haven’t seen that one (with Queen Latifah), you should. It’s definitely a feel-good movie.

[Note about the new Scrabble boards: I just got mine for Christmas because I had a very old and incomplete set. They finally took the idea from Travel Scrabble and added ridges so the letters don’t slip, and I love that. I also love the wheels (we used to put a Lazy Susan under ours, because my mom is a genius), but WHY did they change the colors of the squares? It totally messes me up! Now Double Letter is the color of the old Triple Letter, and Double Word is the color of the old Triple Word. How is that a good change? Not cool, Scrabble…not cool.]

And that was pretty much our day! Oh wait, we also went out and looked at beavers swimming in the lake, but it was too dark for decent photos.

[This is just kind of funny–I was taking a picture of this bird with a moth/butterfly in its mouth…]

[…and then it jumped off the branch while I was taking its picture so it looks like a fake/dead bird here.]
Thanks for sticking with me all this time. I have one more post for what we did on the 4th, and then this series will come to an end. Are you relieved? 🙂

I hope you’ve been having a nice weekend.