The Hunter/Gather of Surburbia

Are we where we live?

November 18, 2012


I believe I have said this before, but I am a terrible blogger. I also suck at journaling regularly so I guess the two sort of go together. Nearly three months into school and I am losing my edge. I have probably one of the top four or five assistants of all time working with me this year and that makes things somewhat easier. What doesn't make things easier is not knowing what going on from day to day. Yes I have control of the night, but the afternoon is totally out of my control. Partly due to me and a huge part due to my co-teacher who thinks he is the "big boss" to quote him. He recently emailed me and told me I was taking over for him while he went on a fundraising run with the Kiwanas. He told me that I now have my chance to be the "big boss." Still not sure how to take that other than he thinks he is the boss and I am his peon. He certainly thinks of me in that way, again because of my inability to articulate myself.
Just when I thought we were moving out from under administrative scrutiny, we are back under the magnifying glass. This time because he didn't follow procedure, his excuse of course was that he only found out about the fundraising opportunity over the weekend and the Kiwanas meet on Tuesday and Monday was a holiday. Then we find out we can use our budget for what he was fundraising for. I am so very confused. But now I have to be forceful because it is likely he will try and consume my budget along with his for his choices without consultation from me. I dug myself into this, now I have to dig myself out.

August 12, 2012

Two posts in one day!

This morning I woke up and as usual spent some time just laying in bed and thinking about stuff. The first thing that popped in my head was when my parents fostered a girl in the hopes of adopting her. Unfortunately for me and for Wendy, my mother wasn't very good at mothering two daughters. Also I sucked as big sister. I could say I was thrust into the role, but I that doesn't quite work for me. I just sucked at it. I had been an only child for 12 or so years, not too sure of the exact timeline, I was still at St Vincents so I know it had to be before Junior High, which was 7th to 9th grade in my time.
I just totally sucked, I didn't know how to sister her and as a family we weren't in any kind of counseling. My parents, ok my mother, wouldn't have gone to counseling. I know my dad didn't want to give up on working to be a family of four, but he always gave in to my mom no matter what.
The day the person came to get Wendy was a very hard time for me. My mother and father were not there for me, I didn't want Wendy to go once I realized what was happening. But I though she was sent away because of me, now I think it was because my mother just sucked at dividing her attention. If there were behavior issues with Wendy I wasn't aware of them and it was my parents' job to get her the help she needed. But for my mother to admit she was at fault or doing something wrong or letting me do something wrong, would have meant that hell was freezing over and zombies were walking the Earth.
Since that day, each time I had to give up a pet I have felt extreme anger at my parents. To this day I didn't realize that maybe it was that day so very long ago when my Companion was taken away from me. I know that I always felt her removal was my fault and my parents never said any different. Perhaps that was also the day that began the rift with my mother. If it had been just me and my father we would have muddled through and I would have a sister. But because of my mother I am an only child. My mother spent her life trying to arrange the right friends, activities, and even husband. None of that worked once I hit high school. She wanted me in cooking 4-H, I did that, and I did Horse 4-H and then joined FFA and raised sheep for a time.
I would have to say that the most support I ever got, that was given freely without reservation was when I moved home pending my divorce. Ok, sort of freely, because they hated my husband/exhusband. But they loved my children and helped me get my teaching degree. I know my mother was not at all happy with my choice of profession, but by this time she understood that I really didn't care about her opinion. I no longer craved or sought it out. She was my mother, she raised me, and I loved her.
Did I stay single because I didn't want the hassle of dealing with a man and my parents? Maybe, initially it was because I wanted to make I didn't make the same mistake. My kids were little and I wasn't willing to have a train of men in and out of their lives. I am also pathologically shy, so that holds a very close second. Would our lives had been different if I had gone husband shopping? Maybe, but we muddled through. I do wish I would have found a man who could show my son how to work on cars and other manly things. Actually, an old boyfriend did show up, but because of his brain injury from a motorcycle accident he remembered the old me and not the new and to this day he continues too. Yes, a symptom of the brain injury, but also one of his unwillingness to listen to the words I say in response to his inappropriate sexual questions, the latest high, or low depending on how you look at it, was to ask me if I ever had sexual thoughts about my male students! Really? Was he just stupid or crass or both? My instant response was of course, no. My second response was why would you ask that? He really didn't have a response and just changed the subject. Yes, brain injury, I get it, but I guess my response to the people who may say, "Oh Lisa, you have to give him leeway," is bullshit I don't! If you know you have short term memory issues, then you journal every moment you want to be sure you remember. Just a thought.
The good thing about being an only child is that now so far away from home, I may ache for my family, but I can deal with the solitude.

Are you a Whovian?

I think to be a Whovian you have to be a fan of Dr. Who from the beginning. So I guess I am a Whovian2. I have only been watching since 2005 with the reboot and the 9th Doctor. I really have little desire to go back and watch the older Doctors. A curiosity for sure, but no obsession. One reason is that I have this OCD need to start from the beginning, so once I found the old Who episodes, if they exist on streaming Netflix, I would at least have to start with the rejuvination to the 8th Doctor. Then I would wonder about the 7th, as well as, finding my favorite Companion Mary Jane and the faithful K-9.
I say Mary Jane is my favorite because of my introduction to her in whatever spin offish program she was in and then her reintroduction to the 10th Doctor. I especially liked her sparring with Rose as to who had the most unusual adventure with the Doctor. My favorite Companion? Maybe Donna. I don't consider River a Companion, but she would be my favorite for all the reasons that others speak about. She is the perfect foil to the Doctor before he knows who she is and because of that. It was a brilliant move to have her be the daughter of Rory and Amy. That she was Amy's companion as a child is something that I find intriguing on a somewhat evil level.
I'll keep watching Dr Who and the change in Companions that is coming. "Spoilers," are annoying and that it has already been broken that a new Companion is coming and who she is, is somewhat irritating. I figured Amy and Rory's tenure was coming to a close, new spoiler there, but giving us all a look at he new Companion is annoying. Perhaps BBC America has done this all along, I have only had it for close two years, so maybe they always do this. Patience is a virtue. I could care less if younger fans have a need to know, it is just annoying to be given nearly complete plots before they become available.
On that same note, True Blood is becoming stupid and insipid. I could care less about the young's obsession with vampires, the books are based on Sookie, not the freaking vamps or weres. True Blood needs to get back to its roots and stop rewriting entire swaths of who Sookie is to her devoted readers.
I am seeing close to the same thing with Longmire, but so far the scripts are still revolving around Walt. I so very much hope the writers of Longmire don't deviate from Craig Johnson's vision. I am still waiting for Dog to show up and tonight is the season finale. Dog is a cool dog and Walt's relationship with him in the books is so real that if the f it up I may stop watching altogether.

July 29, 2012

Travelling with Andrew

Andrew and I went to the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge. It was a very educational day and I think he actually had a bit of fun. I wish it wasn't so far away from Hermiston, a nice field trip, but not when it is a four hour round trip, just driving.
I had Andrew with me for a little over a week and I so enjoyed his company. It was unfortunate that the apartment manager closed the pool because some residents are idiots. We did go to McNary Park, but the mosquitoes were absolutely crazy and we didn't stay very long. He can say he swam in the Columbia River, so that's cool.
We also went to Tamastsklit, not sure I spelled it correctly, it was really nice and we were able to take our time. I wanted to visit the Village, but my heat issues were not supportive of being outside in 90 degree weather.

June 26, 2012


I have been doing a lot of writing. Hence, I have done little writing here. My three weeks with the Oregon Writer's Project is nearly up, only two days left. My writing over the last three weeks became more of soul search. I wrote about fathers, daughters, and Andrew. I presented a lesson on Japanese Internment and the novel Farewell to Manzanar. I have learned so much about writing and responding and sharing. I am also two assignments behind, this is a fairly typical state for me when taking a class, so I am not stressed. I have had a cold for five days, yes five, the directions on the package of DayQuil say to consult with a physcian if you are sick for five days. I wonder why that is? Since I don't need a doctor's note to miss work, I'm not gonna spend money on a doctor.
I think the dogs are pissed at me, we haven't gone a walk for over five days, yes not surprising, but they like the walks. I like the walks. But, unlike when I just feel lazy and then guilty because I don't take them for longer walks, I am fairly guilt free this time. My tinnitus is driving me crazy. When I get a cold, like this one, my ears get plugged and the ringing is so loud at times that I have to turn up the TV or radio or iPod. And though I have become used to the always present slight ringing, so I am never in silence, ever; the extra loud ringing is driving me crazy. Ok, not literally crazy, but it is very annoying.
I hope my family comes to visit me soon. The only one who has seen my new apartment is Andrew and that is because I came and got him. I miss them. I think it will get worse once I am through with the Writing Project because I really don't have any friends here. It's all me, but no interaction will be lonely.
I really miss my family.

June 12, 2012

In class :-)

Here I am in my second day of the OWP Institute! I am loving it, loving my new computer, and generally in a very good mood. I bought a new desk yesterday and almost broke it so bad I would have had to buy another. Good save on my part. Tonight I have the assingment of Madmening myself! I am excited.

June 10, 2012

New Computer

I hesitate to tell you all that I have purchased a new computer, because in about two months I will most surely be lamenting that I am bereft of funds. I should be just fine, but in case I'm not, just warning you ahead of time.
I start with Oregon Writing Project tomorrow. I am excited, I am scared, I am renewed. Yep already feeling the overwhelming need to start creating great lessons. Of course, I have to get Microsoft Office on this computer so I can actually edit and modify my old lessons and begin creating new ones.
It is a beautiful day and I think it is about time to take the dogs to the park for a walk. Stocked up with water in the car and ready to battle the blinking ticks.

June 5, 2012

How the voicing of annoyances help them go away

Ok, so they don't go totally away, but they move to the back and become less pervasive. It isn't that this hasn't to me in the past, it is just the realization of continued annoyances that have suddenly calmed. Yesterday I spent a portion of the afternoon venting with a colleague. It is sometimes a very, ok most times, bad idea to voice concerns, annoyances, etc to a colleague especially when it is about a mutual colleague. But since I have no friends here to vent to, she became the person I had to talk with. The worst part of being annoyed with a colleague is that what annoys you is sometimes previous baggage. But with the baggage unloaded the annoyance seems so much less irritating. When people do things because their heart is in the right place, it is difficult to be a critic, but sometimes the heart overrides the good sense. Sometimes it is the heart that is the issue, it is the mind. When we are just generally surly about everything that can effect everything we do while the attitude is with us. When that attitude bleeds over to others that have nothing to do with reasons for the surly attitude then that is a problem. I try very hard to not let my negative attitude spill over to my students. That is usually an advantage to the problem student of the day as I don't jump down anyone's throat. Which is not always a good thing, because students need to have throats readjusted from time to time.
I look forward to doing more direct instruction in the coming school year. I am excited to give the students some motivation to come to school. At least I hope the direct instruction gives them the motivation. I worry about having to align my class with what my teaching colleague is doing. I am so very anal about my lessons, about making sure the information, activities, etc. follow as I planned and him, not so much.
I am excited about attending the Oregon Writing Project Institute in Pendleton the next three weeks. Watch lessons that work and scary thought teaching one. I just have to find one I have used in the past that I felt was successful. It's been two years, but I hope that as go through those old lesson plans that I will find the ones that worked. I know some teachers are so invested in their lessons that they don't want criticism, good or bad, I relish it! I want to give my students the best that I can.
Today is gloomy day environmentally, I hope the school day is bright.

May 19, 2012

Senior Days

Graduation is the 2nd of June and my Seniors are working their tails off, ok not all of them, but most of them. Right down to the wire and I still get the questions, "Do I have to do this?" The answer, "Yes you do." I am still amazed at how a student can come in after being gone for 8 or 9 days and ask me if they are going to graduate. If they had been working on their work during that time, it would be the easy answer of "maybe." But it usually the ones who don't work from home that are so amazed that they aren't going be done in time to walk at graduation. The students who are working really hard, but are so behind, that is always hard. But the ones who think that they can magically walk if they have half a year of credits to get done, not so much heartburn over them. It, of course, make me sad that they can't walk, but they made their bed by not coming to class but every 9 days or so, so they don't get dropped. But work from home, or come in every day and work, heaven's forbid.
On to other annoyances, yellow jackets. The darn things come in the apartment because I leave the sliding glass door open so the dogs can go sun themselves, and the damn things fly up to the skylight windows. I can't wack them with a newspaper when they are way up there. It is very annoying.
Let's see, another annoyance is people at the apartment complex who don't pick up after their dogs! The management has even put up poop stations to help out with the poop-picking-up and people still don't do it. I saw a cartoon a really long ago showing an alien landing at a dog park and watching the people walking following their dogs around and picking up the poop. The alien figuring it knows who the intelligent life is, addresses the dogs. Too funny.

May 15, 2012

So beautiful

Each day brings a new kind of beauty to my new home here in Hermiston. The weather has been a bit on the hot side, but the beauty is just sigh worthy. With the lengthening days I miss star gazing when I take the dogs out for their night walk. I assume, not being a student of the stars that one of the stars I still can see is the north star, mainly because it is the brightest star and it sits in the northern sky. It is these times that I wish I had an IPad with the astronomy app. It is also a really nice computer, that I can't afford. I do need a new computer, my trusty old lady is getting slow and I can't update anything.
My students are working hard to get their work done so they can graduate. Ok, a few of them. Of course, most are only realizing that their slacker attitudes the rest of the year has come to bite them in the ass now. I have one student working on his last half credit; a couple on their last two, and most on their last four or more. I so want them all to be done. They want me to "help" them out by skipping assignments or lower my standards. I just can't do that. I just can't. It is sort like how many of them wouldn't "snitch" on a friend. It is so a part of who I am.
It is important to me that my students get the knowledge that a grade in Communications 4 says they have. I don't get so off track with them that I don't get through the content. Just because they are in alt school doesn't mean that it is more important for them to get "soft" counseling instead of the course content they need for whatever class I am going to give them credit for. I mean really, every other student has to do the content.
But back to the beauty that surrounds me. As a rule I don't like poetry, but I see it everywhere around me. I remember this poem from a drive to Willamina during my last year there.
It peeks at me, as I drive
It follows me glancing around the trees
It hides behind the mountain
I drive having to follow the road
It jumps out from behind the mountain and smiles greyly at me
Behind me, the other glows orangely red
I can see it trying to make the other go away
It hides and the peeks slyly at me
Ah in full view it almost waves as it dips below the mountain range
It says goodbye, as the other waves hello

Lame huh? No rhyme scheme, no meter, just words. But that is poetry, not what you see, but what I see.

May 6, 2012

Hat Rock

Remember how I said I hate trash? I especially hate trash strewn along the paths and trails I walk with the dogs. Hat Rock is a fairly clean place, except for one pernicious problem, idiot fisherman who do not make sure all of their fishing line is picked up and put in the trash. This is what happens

One dead gosling and one live one. The dead one was attached by the fishing to this poor guy.
 After securing the dogs a safe distance away I was able to disentangle both goslings. The one still alive dashed off across the pond and eventually found a group of goslings with two attentive adults.

Most fishermen, I hope, clean up after themselves and make sure all of their lines are safely stowed in the trash or their tackle box. Luckily for the little guy these two adults seem to have kidnapped half the goslings on the pond and welcomed him in to their brood.

May 3, 2012

10 Best Lists

Are you as tired as I am of all of the 10 Best of ...? Smithsonian magazine has a new list out, "America's 10 Best Small Towns," now normally I don't get emotional about lists. But this one caught me at the end of my first of two days of sick leave and maybe I am just in a negative mood. When I saw the title on the cover of the magazine I thought, "cool," then I read the blurb on the title page, "Looking for richest cultural offerings in the most charming settings..." I wanted to barf. I have been to one of the towns, Gig Harbor, WA, and I would have to agree it is a nice town. It would have made my 10 best list a few years ago, but not now that I have changed my chi or whatever it is I have a different outlook. Some of the change has happened very recently and as I am reading Meeting Faith. I have already spoken about the book here, so I won't go over it again, too much. I have to admit that when I first started reading the memoir I was thinking, "oh ick, this have been part of some Phd thesis or something." I am happy to say, reluctantly, that some of the things Faith is writing about is actually making me think. One of the things she talks about is "contemplative thought," or something like that. So I have been doing a bit of that, without the meditation piece or the maechi assistance. But back to the article. It is, of course, targeting the upper echelon, not the homebody. That the 10 best in America must have, as tasked by the Smithsonian to the research company Esri, "high concentrations of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries and other cultural assets common to big cities." I nearly hurled my newly baked snickerdoodle. Why are those things so important? Not a one of them, except maybe the gardens, free to the average traveler. Why aren't things you can do outdoors just as important? Now that I think about it nearly all of the things listed as "cultural" are sedentary or nearly sedentary activities. Ok, watching a rodeo or a car race on a dirt oval is also sedentary for the watcher anyway. Ok, again, you walk around a museum and a garden and an art gallery, but really?
Hermiston may not be a cultural center of such activity, but here you can go to a rodeo in the morning and a car race in the afternoon and still have time to take the dogs on a walk to McNary Dam. Just a thought Smithsonian, why don't come you to northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington and take a look around? The landscape is breathtaking, in my humble opinion, and there are things to do here. Things that don't cost you an arm and a leg to take your family to and you can even camp at park where Lewis and Clark came by and even commented on, "... SW. 14 miles to a rock in a Lard. resembling a hat just below a rapid at the lower Point of an Island in the Midl: of the river ..." [Clark, October 19, 1805, first draft].  No really, they did comment on Hat Rock and even Ship Rock. They missed the basalt Cayuse Sisters, which have coyote to thank for their existence. The park, the sisters, the Dam all free. And all amazing.

April 29, 2012


I get really annoyed when on our walks around the apartment complex I have maneuver around dog poop. It is even more annoying now that the management has sprung for two poop stations so you don't even have to bring your own bags with you anymore. I really don't get people.
I know trash is a big a deal, I see it all over the place here in Hermiston. Today on our walk at the dam, there was a lot of trash everywhere. Like people came out to fish or picnic and just left their trash behind. I think I am going to start bringing grocery bags with me and pick up what I see. It's bad enough that people don't pick up after their dogs, but to just drop pop cans and sandwich bags along the trail or by the ponds is ridiculous.

April 21, 2012


I think that one of them is hiding inside its shell. The walk was wonderful and I met Maureen and her dog whose name escapes my puny brain. We met last Saturday in nearly the same part of the park. Weird, and weirder still a guy fishing in the same spot that he was last Saturday. Ok, a fishing spot repeat really isn't that weird, just weird that we were all in the same place at the same time, again one week later.
Two posts in one day! Yep, I may be doing somewhat better.

I would like my family with a side of bacon

There is a blog I subscribe to that is named something like, "I'd like cheese over my entire family please." My really bad, for not being able to hold the name in my head with any type of certainty. I do love cheese, but I also love bacon. Ok, I love a lot of different kinds of food. Right now I am cooking, in my oven unfortunately, a beer can game hen. Since I still haven't forked over the cash for a BBQ at my new home, I have heat up my apartment. The good thing is the aroma is wonderful. I use Kona Brewery's Pipeline Porter when I can. It is only produced between October and January so I have to stock up. Which isn't hard since I am not a huge ale drinker. I think I have touted Pipeline Porter before, two of my favorite drinks a dark ale and COFFEE in a nice smooth ale. Yep you got it! COFFEE! I am not a fan of their ale with coconut, I do not like coconut at all. But hey, if anyone is reading this and they love coconut, Kona's ale for Spring is the one to buy. I don't the name but their website is,, just in case your mouth is watering. Mine is not as I am drinking the rest of the ale that I didn't pour into the Pepsi can, so I guess it is actually Pepsi/beer can game hen. No, I rinsed out the can so no Pepsi in there, though now that I think on it.
We went to the dam today, it is so nice and warm, perfect for walking. I saw my very first actual wild turtles, pictures to follow after I download them from my phone. They were sunning on a log in the middle of um... I think it is "Social Security" pond, don't ask me I was wondering the same thing. There was also a kid's fishing derby happening at one of the other ponds. A very populated park, but they still don't have Spillway Park open for the season. Weirdness.
Since my apartment is already steaming I think I will make some mashed potatoes to with the game hen. No bacon today. Sad.

April 18, 2012

Hump Day

It is another beautiful day here in Hermiston and the other good part of this Wednesday? One week until payday! Yeah! My trip home for only two days sucked the money right out of my bank account. Not because I lavished presents on my beautiful grandchildren, but because of the darn gas prices! Here in Hermiston, at that time, gas was about 3.87. At Biggs junction 2 hours away it was 3.99. In Portland it was over $4. In Salem, hometown, it was 4.06! Craziness! When I drove through Hermiston to the dam over the weekend the gas at the Chevron station was 4.16 and the gas at the Shell station just down the road was holding steady at 3.99. According to my son Chevron has the "best" gas, but at nearly .20 cents more a gallon I'll stick with Shell or the Space Age station on 84 where, I think, the price was 3.89 last week.
Argh! The good thing is, I don't really have to drive anywhere other than work so I don't have use my minuscule remaining dollars on gas. To the dam this weekend, avoiding the ticks if we can, and then the slide to payday.
One of my colleagues asked me what I thought about working at Hermiston High School yesterday. The easy response, "A dream," with the qualifying how horrible my last year at Willamina really was. Having administrative support, even if it is a polite "no," is far superior to the feeling of no support but increasingly more time consuming demands with no training.
But enough of the dark thoughts. I have found Hermiston School District to be very supportive, the community too. I relied on to fund my classroom library in the past, as soon as I posted a project on the website I got a call from the principal that a school board member had seen my post and wanted to know why the school wasn't giving dictionaries and thesauruses. I was amazed, and also chastened by the concern, how very refreshing! But that is why I think I have found my dream position, now nearly at the end of my first school year, I feel invigorated to expand how my program works next year. I am not overwhelmed by mandates, I am motivated to do ever better by my students. As I always have been.

April 15, 2012

Lack of writing

I really have no excuse why I haven't been writing lately. Just lazy. I am loving the Spring here in Hermiston! I am sitting here with my sliding glass door open and in a sleeveless shirt, how cool is that? I have just finished reading a wonderful book A Silence of Mockingbirds the Memoir of a Murder by Karen Zacharias. Ok, the subject matter isn't all that wonderful, but the read is.
I am also reading meeting faith An Inward Odyssey by Faith Adiele. Also a good book, not as wonderful as Karen's, but the kind I like. It also has a whole different take on religion and faith, for me that makes it a good read.
I am sitting here watching Mouse sink into the carpet face first as he falls into a deep sleep. As my colleague Becky says, "He is getting under my skin." I wanna squeeze that black pudgy guy every chance I get. Emma is splayed on the couch dreaming of going after some critter. Today we went to the Dam. I am leery of some spots there after our encounter with a horde of ticks on one of the trails. My head still itches when I think about it. Today we walked up to Spillway Park, which is still closed to cars, but seems open to those walk in. I really love walking up to the dam and seeing the water crash from the spillway to the river below. I let loose of Emma and Mouse, though they trailed their leashes. Emma went nuts dashing around the trees and Mouse. Poor guy can't keep up with her, his legs aren't designed that way. He finally gave up and laid down and panted as Emma dashed around. It was a great walk and we encountered no hordes of ticks.
I always say this, but I will say it again, I am going to try and discipline myself to write more. Every day would be good, but probably won't happen. So until then, happy trails and eating and reading and writing.

February 18, 2012

Mouse and Emma

I was worried about Emma not liking Mouse, but she is slowly taking to him. Could be because he is male, or young, or blind, or just not confrontational. Though the little guy is pushing the limits, he is now going into Emma's crate and sneaking out her squeaky toys. Emma isn't a big squeaky toy kind of dog and she doesn't seem to care, though she keeps her eye on him when he is playing with her toys. He does have his own toy and this pay day he will get another. He'll also get another on the day he lose his balls, I don't fully sexed dogs or cats so he will have to go under the knife. I really don't understand why people keep their male dogs fully male. Ok, I personally think it is because if they are male and own a male dog they sort of have tranference issues about the whole emasculation thing. Get over it guys, if you aren't a breeder you don't need to have unneutered dogs or cats.
The park is finally back to normal, with water, but whatever they are building in front of the dam is freaking me out. Maybe it is my love of science fiction, but it looks crazy. I think it is some kind of water pipe, maybe something to do with the fish ladder? It is just weird looking and they, of course, aren't letting people get close because of "construction." Yes they are constructing something, but really? I'm not going to walk out on the dock they built, it would be cool, but I think most, ok, maybe only a few won't walk out there. It's too bad there is no longer any, "Go farther only at your own risk." We are becoming a society of wussies. Every kid on the team has to get a trophy or star even if they sucked the entire game. What are we teaching kids? In real life there are winners and losers and if you are playing a sport someone is going to win and someone is going to lose and playing a game that praises both winner and loser is just stupid. It teaches our children nothing about pride in doing a good job, in working hard toward a goal even if you don't win and always doing your best and knowing that and doing better the next time out is what makes for champions. Getting praise for sucking at something isn't teaching anyone anything. Really it isn't. Unless it is teaching other countries why we can't make decisions about serious issues anymore because somebodies feelings might be hurt. I so got off track. Oh well.
I'm not a political person, but this week's discussions regarding contraception is scaring me. I don't believe abortion should be used as birth control, but I do think birth control medications should be available to everyone. Having Senate Hearings without female voices about contraception is wrong-headed and sure to put Obama back in the White House. Yes I said it. While I don't think Obama believes abortion should be used as birth control, I do think he think believes it should be available to those who need it. Contraception is a personal issue and shouldn't be legislated or restricted by the government. As Catholic the issue is only in a long line of reasons why I no longer practice the Religion I was baptized into. But then I never took part in Confirmation, so maybe I'm not even a "real" Catholic. Which brings up another item on my list, sacraments as the only way in.
I shall stop now, because I have gotten way off track and I only wanted to post a pic of Emma and Mouse.

February 4, 2012

Inclement weather days revisited

I thought I would share some photos of the ice rink that was my parking lot.

The ice was crazy, you can see it shining in the second photo, sorry about the orientation. You can see how even dirt clots that fell off cars can't brave the ice and have slid down from a car to the center of the parking lot.

February 1, 2012

McNary Dam

Took the dogs to the Dam today and low and behold the water in the ponds and creeks was nearly gone. Freaked me out, I was afraid poor Mouse would topple into the goo as walked over the bridges, but the guy did great. Nearly blind and he has yet to run into anything lethal. He just jets along, or tries to as Emma has to pee on every bush we pass by. He peed maybe twice and pooped once. Emma peed about 20 times and pooped twice, the last time all over her ass. She was a very unhappy camper on the drive home because I put her in Mouse's travel crate. I think she was more angry about Mouse looking at her from outside the crate.
I'll post pictures of our new family member as soon as I connect my phone to my computer at home. The sunset was so very pretty tonight, cotton candy pink clouds, lined by silver grey interlopers. Still beautiful. I am really loving my new home here on the north east side of the mountains.

January 22, 2012

Sustainable farming

On the left side of my blog you will see a variety of blogs, one in particular is dear to my heart, Lakeview Farm. I went to high school with the owner/operator/farmer. He was the one who got away, not that I really pursued him, but I most certainly should have. But that is neither here no there. They raise meat animals in a natural and sustainable way. I hope to purchase a half of a lamb this spring. I love lamb, I really do, if I had freezer room I'd purchase a whole one. I have discovered, however, that like most store bought meat, store bought lamb is not as tasty as I remember when I raised sheep in high school.
The farm is in Halsey which in the Valley which makes it very hard to purchase the chicken, eggs, turkey, and coffee that they also sell. You can also buy a  share in a cow and receive all the products she produces. Can't buy milk, of course, because Oregon had a freak attack about unpasturized milk products. Anyway, if you live near there, not that anyone even reads my blog, you should contact them about purchasing their products.
My stomach is rumbling from a recipe for roasted chicken, of course chicken raised at Lakeview, I will try the recipe this week with, unfortunately, store bought chicken from Safeway.

Divinity has landed

Finally did it! And now of course I have eaten half of them already.

They taste good, in my humble opinion, I just needed to cook the sugar mixture a bit longer and take more time with egg whites. I'll not be sure I have it under control until I am able to replicate more than one batch. Sort of the scientific method of candy making.

January 20, 2012

Day 3 of now what is called an inclement weather day.

"Inclement weather" sot of catches it all don't you think? Flooding in my hometown of Salem caused the District to cancel classes and crazy ice shuttered schools here in Hermiston. Ice is so bad I couldn't walk on the grass, which I thought was safer, without falling down. And again it is sort of nice because I can make Emma slide the way I want her to go, which is on to the parking lot for some reason. Falling in the parking lot would have hurt, falling in the grass hurt my pride.
The sun came out and melted just enough old ice to get to make new ice. How wonderful, people still driving a bit crazy on the highway, way too fast for the conditions. Oh, and of course the one truck that zipped by was Swift truck, yes "Swift" is the name of the hauling company. Driver drove way too fast, way too fast maybe he was the same Swift driver who almost killed a few weeks ago on 395 in Power City. Which reminds me there is a Wildlife Area in Power City that I keep not going to. It is on the way to McNary Dam and I just don't make the turn, I'll do better next week since this weekend we are probably stuck here until the ice melts. I've been watching the people having to go to work this morning and even with studs they are slipping a bit before the studs catch.
I am so glad I walked to Safeway on Wednesday and got a few things and that I stopped Tuesday night on my way home from class. There is no way I could walk to the store the past two days. Watching a neighbor trek to the garbage cans hope he makes it ok. Sun is currently not winning the battle with the clouds, which means the ice is still hard as a rock.

January 18, 2012

Snow Day!

Got the call at 5:24 this morning, yes I checked my phone. I was then awake for about an hour, which sucked but at least I remembered to turn off the alarm.
Today is Black Internet Day or something, several sites are going black to protest SOPA and PIPA which is supposed to go before Congress later this month. While I do not understand the intricacies of the bills, I do understand why there are protests in opposition to them. This time it seems that Hollywood or producers of content that will end up on the Internet are banging Congress with millions to be able to block content, pull down content, etc. without due process. Not very liberal of you Hollywood. I always cite my sources so I don't think I would be a target, but then again you never know especially if the entity who wants it pulled down doesn't need any proof at all to accuse of you doing infringing on copywrite.
I think these bills are in reaction to wikileaks. What I would like to know has any person or operation or government been truly compromised by what has been leaked? And I know if the leaks were of Taliban or Al Quada, I know I spelled that wrong, no one would care now would they? Or if North Korea's dirty little secrets were aired or any of our enemies, but because it was our secrets we are all up in their faces about it. Now that I have made myself a target I will again become apolitical.
Ok, I'm never really apolitical, but  why is the Internet so slow today, or is it the weather here that is the problem? Yes, that whole sentence didn't make a lot of sense, but as I said the Internet is slow and I had wait like 30 seconds for that sentence to even appear.
Have a wonderful rest of the day.

January 16, 2012

It snowed!!

Well, it did snow last night, of course most of it is gone now, but it did snow! I will be going to see my new granddaughter in about two weeks and I am excited to hold her and get to know her a little bit. I am also going to be picking up Mouse. Mouse is a two year old pug raised by a former colleague and friend. Ok, not a former friend, but anyway, Mouse had an eye infection when he was a puppy and is now going blind. I was thinking about either a dog or kitten and Phil asked if I would like Mouse. I actually have a bit of experience with blind dogs, my own Mimi lost her sight and moved happily about our house and the backyard for many years. She was of course an old dog. I also worked at a vet's office where they had a blind cocker spaniel. She too was able to move about the vet office with relative ease. Her name was Misty.
My daughter is upset that I am not bringing over Destiny, but my lovely old Destiny is about 80 lbs and too big for the apartment. I tussled over bringing her here after she spent some time here over the Christmas Break. But the more I thought about it, the more I just knew she wasn't as happy here. Kelsey says Destiny misses me and whines a lot. I think Destiny missed the girls, Lauren and Lexi. She also whined here, but that could have been more here worrying over where she was.

This is Destiny laying on the couch with Lauren a couple of years back. I love and miss that dog, but I think farm life is better for her than being couped up in a one bedroom apartment most of the day.

January 15, 2012


The forecast says snow showers, then later in the week freezing rain. I prefer snow showers thank you very much. I am not sure what Emma prefers, other than balmy weather. She has a great coat.

It even has a hood! Payday I will be getting her some booties in anticipation of even colder weather. I checked at Eddie Bauer, $69; and at Petco $39. Eddie's booties got more raves than pans and Petco's more pans than raves. But man, $69? I don't know. I need new walking sneakers and those run $65 to $120. Of course, at least for me, I buy one pair of walking shoes every three or four years, maybe two now that I am walking more on daily basis so the price is crazy. Emma's probably one pair every, probably ever, for her. Just worried about how she will take to them.

January 13, 2012

Since Christmas

I was so lucky to have Andrew for a whole week! I miss him so much. I miss Kelsey's girls a bunch too. That's what happens when grandchildren live with you. As my six month in Hermiston begins I am sharing the pictures of my grandkids

Andrew posing at McNary Dam Nature Area, that rock is one that came all the way from Montana during the Missoula Floods, little Lexi waiting impatiently for Thanksgiving dinner, and lastly Lauren and Jesse. Miss them all so much. When I have really good pics of my newest grandchild LilyAnne those will be posted here too.