Thursday, March 29, 2007

What is this, please

These plants are around the apts and give off a lovely fragrance. Does anyone know the name of the plant?
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!

oh wait... its not the sky. Its the mountain side.
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Within the past hour part of a canyon wall has slid onto highway 26... this is the highway leaving Portland to the west and is used by a huge amount of people to get out of the city.

One of the local TV news station captured part of the slide on film... a few more trees falling almost getting an ambulance and fire truck.

Its amazing how quickly emergency personnel arrived. And within 45 minutes they've been able to reroute the backed up traffic and start removing the trees. I mean just getting to the site that quickly is amazing in itself. And these people apparently know what needs to be done because they started working on it right away. Very impressive!!

Considering how much traffic goes through this area at all hours of the day and night it also amazing that no cars were caught under the slide. I consider that a miracle. Some angels were on duty today!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

One of the Neighbors

Here's a sketch of one of the newer neighbors. She lives in the apt. above mine. I'm guessing she's in her fifties... perhaps early sixties. She goes to the bathroom almost as often as I do. When her toilet is flushed it sounds like a waterfall between the walls. You should have seen me the first time the toilet was flushed after I moved in....I was sitting on my couch and the plumbing is right behind the couch/wall area. I thought something had busted at first. I still wonder if maybe the builders forgot to put the drain pipe in...but nothing has come of it so I trust all is well.

Back to the neighbor. She walks as though one leg is shorter than the others. And she walks "carefully". No sudden movements. And she wears sunglasses at inappropriate times... like at 2am when its black outside. Doesn't take a Harvard professor to figure out that drugs probably have her eyes looking all screwed up.

I did the sketch with pen/ink and then used color crayons.
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Monday, March 26, 2007

The Glide

I finally remembered to watch Dancing With the Stars. Clyde won't be on long, but it was nice to see him again. Still a gentleman.

Friday, March 23, 2007


We've got some serious vibrations going on here. All evidence of the deconstructed house has been removed. For the last day and a half the guy with all the big equipment has been filling in the hole left by the basement. This involves one of those vehicles with the huge, round, heavy thingamabob thingy that packs down dirt and asphalt.

The vibration moves through the deepest parts of the apartments and up into the people. I think if I could just find the right spot to sit... well, never mind.

When the machine is turned off its like the second right after an atom bomb has gone off and the vaccuum has sucked up everything into itself. A weird sense of quiet.

Its been a very quiet day if you discount the activity next door.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Delicate Dance of a Dinasaur


As I stood looking at this.... this.... what is this? A backhoe? Anyway, as I stood looking at this huge clanking piece of equipment, I couldn't help but think of a raptor. And I didn't have to know anything about the equipment and what was being done to know that the operator was really good at it. The movements were efficient and smoothly done. No halting or stammering at all. The "mouth piece" moved with extreme delicacy, picking up only the pieces of concrete it wanted. The arm moved gracefully over to the truck. The debris was placed respectfully in the bed of the dump truck.

It looks like only one man is taking care of the foundation deconstruction. The 'raptor' showed up last night, placed inside the portable fence. This morning came the dump truck. When its full, the man moves from backhoe to dump truck and takes the stuff off to who knows where.

I went to the grocery store this morning. As I was putting my bag in the trunk I happened to look at the license plate and let it register with me. Good choice of words...'register'. My tags expire next month. I had forgotten about the notice I received last month. This activity is something I would have normally asked Candace to take care of for me. (She gets to get away from the kids for a while and I babysit in return for her taking care of it for me. A win/win.) I've been known to let my tags lapse a year or more before getting them. I take this procrastination thing seriously, but I'm not into that right now. I'll take care of it in April. (I hope it passes DEQ.)

I got two bunches of greens, mustard. The green of them screamed at me... I couldn't resist. I need some neckbones or something to go with it. Neckbones... use to save us p'or folks a lot. I would even BBQ them. You had to really hunt for the meat and you had to be prepared for a mess, but they sure could be good at times. Now they cost too much. I mean really... its at least 80% bone for gawd sake! I may have to make another trip to a different store and see what I can come up with.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Grandma's Place

In the comments Dusty Duck asked if I would do a quick sketch of grandma's place... with the garden on the side. So I've played around a little just to give a visual idea of what it looked like.

In the garage was where Fred's work shop was... lots of tools and things. They also stored the lawnmower, rototiller, saws, ladders, etc. Early on the agitating ringer washer stood by the door. The deep utility sink was close by. Wires draped overhead to dry the clothes in the winter. A folding wooden rack stayed in the house for use there. Not too much later came a bright automatic washer and dryer.

It was dark in there. The back of the garage was too dark to see any details, but looming shadows filled every corner. I just stood near the door.

I remember a couple of remodels. I can only imagine how small the original house must have been. So tiny. But when around five or so I remember a long living room and a semi large kitchen area with the bathroom at the back. Next, the 'large kitchen area' became a dining room (with large picture window looking out to the side yard), the bathroom became the small "efficiency kitchen"... with just a smidgeon of space added at the rear for an eating area. It was cramped! That's where Fred and I sat waiting for the next batch of homemade bread to come out of the oven.

Fred died many years before grandma. He fought several bouts of cancer, but the last one got him. About 15 or 20 yrs later grandma lost her mental capacity... not sure of diagnosis. She ended up in a nursing home. She wasn't there long before she checked out, if you will.
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Sunday, March 18, 2007

uh... about those "bonus days"

I forgot to mention, you know, about those so called 'bonus days'... ya gotta be prepared for the unbonus days. Every leger sheet has debit and credit columns. Life does too. The only way you can stand on the mountain top is if there is a valley somewhere. Ups and downs, ins and outs.... thats what makes up life.

My 'unbonus' situations involved the loaning of money and a broken heating element in the oven. And I seem to be standing here with the short end of the stick rammed up my ass. Naw, not really. I couldn't reach that far... and besides, I was just going for the shock value of the statement. Gurus say its all in how one looks at it. So, without too much passion behind it, I'm looking at how fortunate I was to have had the money to loan. And all I have to do for the heating element is call the office and they will arrange the repair.

I just didn't want you to be surprised. Life is not all apple sauce and gravy... nor is it all bitter root and hemlock. Its all in how you look at it.


Winifred. I'm not sure I spelled the name right.

Its 5am as I start this entry. For whatever reason I began to remember little snatches of grandma-memories. "Winnie" was grandma's neighbor to the rear. I thought her name was odd and definitely country-fide. I never forgot the name.

It would have been during the early 1950s. A wooden fence separated their properties. Grandma's yard was cut and maintained in farmer style. The grass was cut but not edged, the trees pruned as needed. Winnie's backyard was hidden behind bent trees and overgrown bushes and shrubs. I could only see the top of their unpainted house. I don't remember what Winnie looked like, but I remember she had chickens. And my impression was that Winnie and her husband liked their beer.

My step-grandfather was called Fred, never grandpa. He was a silent skinny man. It worked out well because grandma was a talker. She talked about everyone. If you weren't sitting there in the kitchen, then you could pretty much bet you would be the subject of the conversation at one point or another. I don't know if it was mean gossip or not, cause you know, I was just a kid and didn't pay too much attention to the adults. I think it was more in the way of entertainment. 'Access Hollywood' if you will. It drove my mother crazy because she knew she was discussed in hushed tones. Was she really? I don't know. I just know my mother did not like my grandmother (her mother), but I didn't find that out until I was an adult.

Grandma and Fred, transplanted midwestern farmers, had a big plot of land with their house to the rear. I'm terrible at measurements so I'm going to guess they had an acre or two. A third of it was a garden. Besides all the veggies they also had a couple of rows of berries... blackberries and raspberries. And I remember tall stalks of corn along the driveway. Grandma would can and preserve things. Steam rising from the huge pots and canning jars sitting all over. Beads of sweat on faces and clothing. Every inch of counter space covered.

Grandma also made bread. Ohyummmmmmmmmmm. The smell of yeast. Warm fresh bread smothered with real butter and if you liked, home made raspberry jelly. Fred and I could tear through us some warm fresh bread. I'm surprised my grandma never hit our hands with a wooden spoon to keep us away.

Well... now I've got to go make me some toast. Do I have jelly?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bonus Days

Bonus days... ya gotta luv 'em. Thats what I'm calling yesterday. Bonus Day Its when a pleasant surprise, or maybe more, happens.

Yesterday was a 'shopping day' for me. Time to restock the cupboards. My first bonus came when I checked myself out of a Fred Meyer store (aka Krogers) using a self-checkout machine. Someone forgot their change in the cup. I'm not sure but I think it was around 65 cents. Hey... a bonus is a bonus, even if you can't buy much with it.

Next I went to Walgreens to get some batteries that were on sale. At check out the clerk located a coupon she had in a booklet and I got another $2 off the sale price. Be still my heart. Nothing brightens up the day like an unexpected windfall.

My next stop was at a small mom-and-pop store. There was a young man panhandling. Going in I gave him my usual speal... "sorry, don't have anything to spare." While inside the thought of generousity came to mind, so on the way out I gave the guy some change. (Some precious laundry quarters, too.) Basically, I was the middle-man. I moved the change from Fred Meyers to the guy at the small store. Interesting how the Universe works... the Laws of Attraction.

After that came a discount grocery store. No 'found money' there, but it wasn't as crowded as normal and there was no one behind me when I checked out. This means I didn't have to rush the bagging drill like a banshee out of hell. Now that doesn't happen often. In fact, rarely. The only thing I could have done without was the ten cent price hike on many of my regular items, but its understandable considering gas prices, blah blah blah. After all, my cost-of-living increase has to go some where.

Those are the major bonus happenings.... a minor happening is finding a couple of products that had been out of stock the last two times I checked at two other stores. (Why all the different stores, you ask... because not every store carries the particular brand I want at the lowest price.)

What didn't happen was that there was no fairy action at home. The kitchen was the same as I left it and the groceries didn't carry themselves from the car into the apartment, let alone putting themselves away. I call it covert exercise. (Ms. Spin Doctor, if you please.)

Now I get to see what gifts today will bring. Sun is suppose to be one of them. ('them' in multiple gifts. Greedy? Me? Naaaw... not me!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Birthday Time

My daughter's birthday is the end of this month and her last born, Vyron, has a birthday the first part of next month. I've got gifts for them and will mail off the package next week. Its all Dollar Tree Store stuff, but its the thought that counts. Right? I'll also stick in a few bucks for each of them cause I know 'mom' will be broke and can use it. I also picked up a couple of toys for the boys to share. I mean things they can get their hands on right away and not have to wait for Vyron's birthday. (I got Vyron a soft teddy bear so when life has been hard he can have something soft and cuddly to hold.)

Damn. We have more druggies here (tenents). What's up with this, anyway. Can't get away from it. I think its a serious commentary on the state of our society. Maybe we'll end up becoming a third world country. It could happen. We've already got the highest infant mortality rate going. Whodda thunk it.

On a brighter note, the city has turned on its water fountains. A sure sign of spring.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Clyde Drexler

Clyde, the Glide, Drexler was my favorite basketball player. Ever. "Ever" mainly because I'm not, nor have I ever been, into basketball... but I liked me some Clyde.

I liked how he conducted himself, at least in public. He was never busted for drugs, fighting pit bulls, or carrying concealed weapons. He conducted himself as a gentleman. I don't recall him ever saying anything negative about anyone else. That is, in public.

However, I'm not totally retarded. I know watching a person on tv doesn't give one the full measure of a man... but that's okay. I chose to believe Drexler was and is a gentleman.

And now the Glide is going to be on Dancing With the Stars. I don't watch that program but I will Monday. I'm hoping to see those twinkling eyes once again. And we'll find out if he's still "gliding".

Sunday March 11

The house is gone now... only the foundation remains. This picture was taken last week. Work on the house demolition is sporadic now.

I got the perfect toasted cheese on my tuna noodle casserole and without having to stand and watch it. I didn't have any chips to put on the top so I used cheese. While it was under the broiler I played on the pc. Normally that would be bad news, but this time I listened to myself. When the thought of the casserole came to me I didn't ignore it but went to check. And it was perfect.

I'm trying to do that more... listen to myself. If I have a thought float through I try to pay attention to it. A thought like I really should clean the bathroom means someone will be coming over and will want to use it. So far so good.

Exciting, ain't it.
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Friday, March 09, 2007

I Like Him

For a long time now I would find myself being uncomfortable watching comedians/hosts who use the misery of others for their so called humor. Specifically I'm talking of the late shows (regular tv). But I would watch the programs because the alternative was infomerials and I didn't need a grill.

I would typically watch Jay Leno, mainly because that channel was clearer on my tv than others. (and if you watch closely, Jay is a bit of a lech...) After Jay comes Conan. For a long time I would mumble under my breath about how bad the attempt at humor was... it wasn't funny and a third grade boy could be as good, as funny as this guy. Finally, because I'm a bit slow, it dawned on me to check the other guy's show. The other guy show was Craig Ferguson. I found him to be much funnier in the true sense of the word. So now I watch Craig.... whenever I haven't fallen asleep on the couch.

I came across this youtube cut from another blog the other day. (sorry, can't remember which blog.) Now I know I really like him. Please watch. It takes about 12 minutes.

Craig Ferguson Speaks from the Heart.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sage email advice

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Goodbye Paul deLay...We will miss you.

What a shocker... hearing that musician Paul deLay died. He was one of the greats. We will miss him and his music. Blessings to his family and friends.

Nothing much... you?

I'm in a little better mood today than I was yesterday. Yesterday was for keeping the blinds closed (although I didn't) and snoozing on the couch all day (I tried).

How come I can think of things to blog but they disappear when I have the posting box up? Murphy's Law?

I think its time to avoid watching/reading the news again. Its too gruesome. The things people do to each other....ugh!! Especially if one of the "people" is a small child. Rips my heart to shreds.

On a happier note.... ah.... well.... ah... its Wednesday!

I think I'll go surfing. That should consume a few hours. If I find anything of note, I'll post a link.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Day Two

Two days in a row of sunshine. Be still my heart. The tree blossoms are blooming, the grass is growing, and the daffodils are sprouting. Awwwwww.
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Well, yesterday my friend L. called and invited me over for a visit. Sunday is not our normal visiting day, but I bucked tradition and went over anyway. We had a pleasant visit. She fixed roasted chicken breasts and fresh asparagus. I could taste the green of the asparagus... 'nummy' as my grandson would say. (well, He wouldn't say it about the veggie, so much. You know. Being green and all.)

We played Upwards. It was a close game but she won by a few points. Then she sent me home with a doggy bag and a bag of chocolate covered peanuts.

While I was still there we heard from a passer-by that a little shop around the corner had been robbed and the clerk was shot... "and injuried." (That explained the parked police car in front of her house that we had noticed earlier.) I had to detour around the police crime tape when I left.

The story has been on the news. The clerk is in critical condition with a head wound. The attacker got away in a corvette. The clerk was a friend of the shop owner and was not usually working the store. (Timing seems to be very important.)

Crime sure seems to be on the rise all over the place. I hope the guy, the clerk, survives without complications, etc. Those who commit crimes are getting really crazy or really desperate. Or really both. The incident happened at 4 in the afternoon. The location is very busy with gobs and gobs of foot traffic. Thats not the best time for a robbery. Although, I should mention..."robbery" is speculation only at this time. Maybe it was a gang/mafia hit. A loan shark repo. Who knows. I just know the little store has been there for the longest and the owners have always been very nice to me. (And they have to put up with a lot of crazies and homeless people coming into the store. A mom & pop store.)

Ya jus never know.....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Oh Lordy.... we have SUNSHINE!!!

Sunshine! How wonderful after weeks of rain. Of course, its not going to last. That simply adds to its wonderfulness. One can't have valleys without some mountains. Blah blah blah Its still uplifting. It also shows all the dust bunnies as they dash about. Splat. Got one. What?!? DUST bunnies... they're not real bunnies. No animals were hurt in the making of this blog entry. Trust me. (insert innocent eyes here.)

Here are some progress shots of the house demolition... it covers a couple of days.
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I'm not looking forward to the sound jackhammers as they bust up the foundations (garage and house foundations). I wonder what will end up being on the property.

Time for a second cup of coffee. I'm getting a late start to the day. I woke up for a few hours in the middle of the night so I slept in this morning.

"Mocha... Mocha, baby.... come to mamma."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday March 2, 2007

I've been trying to upload some pictures to the blog entry via Picasa and I kept getting an error message... so no pictures today. I have three showing the progress on the house demolition. I'll try to post them later.

Still rainy and cold here. (Cold being a relative term. Canadian cold its not.) I was bored yesterday and almost picked up pen and paper to doodle. Today is the same as yesterday, so maybe doodling it will be.

I have been a little concerned for my neighbor. She's in recovery (1 yr clean) after 23 yrs of using. I'm concerned because of all the "life (problems) situations" she has had thrown at her and with all that pressure, drugs may looking tempting. I just saw her come from one of the upstairs apartments. There's still one apartment left (upstairs) that seems to have possible drug activity going on.... was she coming from that apartment? It would be a place to procure drugs of unknown nature. I hope my concern is unwarrented.

I fixed some homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner last night. And breakfast this morning. As normal, the flavor was so much better after the soup sat over night. It wasn't anything fancy... just used what I had on hand. Broccoi and baby carrots for the veggies plus the chicken and stock.