The Hunter/Gather of Surburbia

Are we where we live?

December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

My first attempt at divinity in oh about 40 years. This batch looks strikingly similar to the one 40 years ago. Kind of sad, but I will try again.
Emma and I took a walk at the dam today. Smelled a skunk, luckily it stayed away from us and we from it. Also saw swans.

The dang birds always fly away. Skittery they are, which makes it difficult to take their pictures. The swan were on the other side of the pond so didn't take to wing before I got a picture.
Also took some pictures of the power lines, they looked sort of like robot guardians and they hummed and buzzed like crazy.

Also, the sage brush and other vegetation just looked cool. It was 27 degrees I discovered on our way back to the apartment. The sky this morning was beautifully red, pink, and orange. Which means, "red sky in morning sailors take warning." So I am hoping no warnings to drivers, just sailors. Driving into Salem tomorrow and back in one day so weather needs to be driveable, pretty please. I am hoping gas stays low until after I have gotten back from bringing Andrew back home.
I hope one and all have a good day filled with what is needed most.

December 24, 2011

A very merry Christmas

Well, just hours away from Christmas. Each Christmas Eve, especially since my family trundles off to their other family's Christmas Eves, I long for the Forcier/Chretien Christmas Eves of my childhood. Those were the real thing, full of family, love, and just Christmasness. Ok, Christmasness isn't a word, but that is how I feel about those Christmas Eves.
I do not and will not begrudge my family spending time with their newly formed families. I do begrudge that since these families have come together I have never had a Christmas Eve or Christmas with my family, not one. I don't even get Thanksgiving. Now I am far away and I even have a hard time getting one grandchild for a week. The grandchild I raised for nearly two years. Yes I resent it, but what do I do about it?
Christmas has always a magical time for me, yes even now. There is something magic about it and for me there always will be, even if I spend it alone with my dog. This Christmas, Emma and I will go on our long walk, hopefully at the dam. I have no idea if the trails will be open or not, if not we'll walk somewhere else. Things always seem to work out on Christmas, don't they? There is always one thing or other that works out after not working out all year long. At least it seems that way for me. Maybe it is just me stressing out over something for a year and then finally working it out. I prefer the magic part.

I am not a Coke drinker, but man they find the best artists to create their Santas, this one is from 1951. I didn't put up my Santa ornaments this year, primarily because I didn't get a tree. If I would had family over, a tree I would have, but that didn't happen. It will always likely be my job to get to their homes on Christmas. I know I live a long ways away, but no one has come to visit me and that sort of hurts. But enough of the pity me party. Because I am very happy here being far away isn't as bad as it could be and for that I am grateful. Hermiston is a nice place to live, wish I lived in a house, but the apartment is ok for now.

Another Coke rendition of Santa. I love Santas, just realized that I didn't buy my annual Santa ornament, dang it! Even if I didn't have a tree, of course, no Hallmark here in Hermiston and I totally spaced it when I went to the mall in Tri Cities. Oh well, there's always next year.

December 23, 2011


Went to the dam today, but I was feeling hinky so we only stayed long enough for Emma to do her business. Yesterday I saw pelicans and I even took a picture with my phone.

Not a great photo, I have to remember to bring my camera so I can get better quality pictures. Today, because my Ipod was being temperamental I could here the power lines above my head humming. I guess I never heard them before because I was usually listening to my Ipod. Earlier in the week we explored other areas of the park and when we came upon a grouping of three electrical towers, in the picture you can see the same arrangement on the Washington side of the Columbia, I had the creepiest, most eerie feelings. I wonder if it was the electric charge coming from the towers and wires?
Excited for Monday, going to go pick up my Andrew for a visit. Also bringing along Destiny, my black lab, to see if she can navigate my stairs without pain, I worry about her so much. Of course, the weather guy just said that it is going to rain! Of course it is, hasn't rained all month and when I am planning some short day trips to the cool parks around here it is going to rain. Ah, well, if it is rain like I've experienced here before I guess I shouldn't worry too much about our plans being washed out.
I have to share one more picture of the sisters, the story just catches me up.

Coyote is such a little devil. I love his stories. This one is about Coyote falling in love with three sisters who set their nets at the confluence of the Snake, Walla Walla, and Columbia rivers to catch salmon. Each day they set their nets and each night Coyote takes them down. He finally marries all three and all is happiness, but then Coyote gets jealous, as he often does, and he changes two of the sisters into pillars and the third into a cave just off shore. I wonder if the cave is actually still there?

December 22, 2011

Where not to eat

It has been a long time since I've written. Not sure why, just haven't taken the time I guess. I splurged on a hamburger the other day. There is a Fuddruckers here in Hermiston, I have never been to a Fuddruckers, so I thought why not?
I like the build your own burger part of the place, but the fries and bacon cheese burger were probably the worst I have ever had. No, really, quite nasty. I was still tasting it the next day, even after I brushed my teeth. I love a good juicy burger and this wasn't it. The meat was dry and the bacon tasted as if it was cooked a few hours before. I had to settle for pepper jack cheese because they were out of cheddar. Interesting, since it was only like 1 pm. As I said I liked the do it yourself bar thing where I could put on what I wanted, unfortunately, that was the only good thing about the place. I will give the place, well not the one in Hermiston, another chance if I ever am hungry and happen to pass by another store in another town.
This has been the only place where I have eaten here in Hermiston that I would tell my family to stay away from. I am going to take Andrew to Hales for lunch one day next week. It is a local place and I prefer local to chain. La Palma is a Mexican food place and they make a fine Chili Relleno. The other Mexican place I have gone to makes a nice Relleno too, just don't order ahead and then show up late. I've also eaten a few times at the Panda something buffet, it is good and I really like the buffet thing. The outside is sort of creepy, but the food is good. The Fortune something is also supposed to be good place to get Chinese, but I haven't tried it yet. Ye Olde Pizza  Shoppe is a good pizza place, nothing to write home about, but it is good and it isn't Pizza Hut. Oh, went to Shari's not so good and Denny's also not so good. I was surprised by both as they are chains and you'd think their quality control would be better. Even Pizza Hut and McDonalds were good examples of their type of food. I guess the cooks at Shari's and Denny's, I call them cooks because they certainly weren't chefs, don't give a rat's ass whether people come back. I certainly won't go back or take my family there if they ever visit me here.
I have high hopes for Hale's, not just because a former student works there, but because it truly is a local place. Though winter eating is always a dice throw because there is so little fresh veggies and fruits. Which brings up another point that I really haven't figured out, why the heck is the produce here of such an inferior quality to the produce I am used to in Salem? Even the local produce stand sucks as a place to go find that perfect veggie or piece of fruit, I just don't get it.