primsong: (snoopy wag)
One of those miraculous amazing old gentle men from my church came and helped me install the boards for my front steps because I was concerned I'd get them crooked and someone would trip. They look fabulous! And golly he was fast - I'm still carefully tap-tap-tapping away at the nails to tack down one end of the boards and there he is with over half of his side done already. I am SO grateful!

Also, "I did the thing!" and pat myself on the back, which was performing a solo dance up in Ilwaco and it went beautifully. My daughter filmed it on her phone - not perfect, of course, but I'm surprisingly pleased with it. She got me to put it onto facebook (I rarely use fb) so she could share it. The Lavender Festival folks even transformed a tool shed into an amazing dressing room for the dancers and all the quaint outbuildings were decorated with beads, drapes, persian rugs, etc.

primsong: (starry sky)
My eldest came by to pick up her official papers we keep in our safe because she needs to expedite her passport renewal all of the sudden - she's going to Cambodia on a missions trip in June!

She's always had a heart for the people of Asia so she's excited at the opportunity. Says "I've been studying their history and language, it has a lot of the same sounds that Japanese uses so I'm picking it up." Now I get to be the gathering point for whatever monetary support she can wrangle on short notice to cover the passport, shots, plane ticket etc. She needs 3k, we'll see how it goes.

Life is never boring, is it?
primsong: (ship)
Back from the cruise to Alaska - what a crazy subculture there is among the cruising people and their world.  It was good fun but holy cow, I've never seen SO many jewelry stores in my life!  We had to look for anything that wasn't a jewelry store on the main drag of all three towns that we docked at.  A local in a tiny bookstore we found said the stores open when the cruises start and close when they stop, it's really weird.

Mendenhall Glacier was nice, glad I took the bus over there because it got me outside the Tourist Bubble where I could see the actual town and the valley around it, and I loved the Mt. Roberts Tram.  Best things on the ship were the private karaoke rooms and the brine swimming pool when at sea as it would slosh just like waves and I could body-surf from one end to the other when it really got going.  Enjoyed exploring the ship, there's so much on there, but a week was about right.

Also relating to oceans, my eldest went to the coast and got TWO jobs in one day, she's now commuting 2 hours one way just to get to work until she can get that first round of paychecks so she can look for an apartment.  I love Lincoln City, so I'm totally good with her being over there as it means I get to visit! ;-)
primsong: (ship)
My friend and I are headed out for an Alaskan cruise this next weekend, a modest one-week adventure heading north - it's more about finding out what a cruise is like than about the destination.  Should be interesting, I've never been further than Victoria BC.  She'd never been on a train, we're taking the leg to Seattle that way for a bonus - and that way I don't have to worry about my car sitting there in Seattle for a week.  Shoestring budget means so not much excursion fanciness for us, and we'll just use the common buffet for food but I think it'll be worth the experience.  Basic cabin, all we could afford was a porthole that looks out at a lifeboat but that's ok, we can always go out on deck to see stuff.

If this goes well, maybe we can start saving up for a longer one somewhere a little further away!
primsong: (bessie)
Finally had a chance to take a road trip with a friend this past week, we've been talking about it for a couple of years and voila! A spot in schedules opened up before the weather turned too cold so off we went.  Started off with some amazing lakes and mountains, the Wallowas, at the far eastern corner of Oregon that are generally too far away so I haven't seen them for twenty-odd years - (mountain-top tram was closed, though, drat!) then ambled down and onward into Idaho (obliterated a tumbleweed at high speed, saw some rocks), down into Utah (gosh, the Salt Lake has a terrible stench - no wonder there's no resorts anywhere around it), across Nevada (lots and lots and lots of nothing til the far border). 

Near Carson City the genuine Western ghost town thing was pretty cool when we went up into the steep hills - Virginia City has turned into a tourist trap due to it being easily reached from Reno but the other towns like Gold Hill were very atmospheric and old-timey in a 'real deal' way.  Spent a bit of time goggling at the dusty, abandoned buildings and mining whatnot and explored the still-functional creaky wood and brick hotel from the 1800 gold rush days.

After that it was into the Sierras and down into California (barely got through before they closed the highway due to a forest fire - yikes - flames leaping out of the trees as we whizzed by) and then the world of hot concrete and palm trees.  I used to live down there so that wasn't too interesting and we rather quickly worked our way into the mountains, lakes and wiggly roads that eventually brought us out at the coast.  Hwy. 1 is a thing of beauty and my companion humored my tendency to roll down the windows and breathe deeply every time we went through a Eucalyptus grove, the sweet scent is a favorite of mine. 

Up we went, following the coast (cows, lighthouses, wild pampas grass, little villages, trinkets, giant redwoods, coffee!) all the way into our own Oregon again (more lighthouses, fresh fish, myrtlewood, books, rocks, kites, coffee!) and then upward to the very tip where the mighty Columbia river pours out into the Pacific (amazing sunsets, fudge, foamy sea, coffee!) then home. 

Lots and lots of driving, I felt like I'd been driving forever, but what a great thing to get a ticky in our personal ticky-boxes.   Now I get to do laundry, etc. etc. and go soak a bajillion bug-bodies off the front of the car.  Hope your week was a good one too. 
primsong: (hamster smooch)
I'm back from Ashland, and still jazzed about it - we had a grand time with four fab plays and an adorable cottage to sleep in where a fresh-baked b&b breakfast was delivered to our door every morning in a wooden basket.  A doe kept coming over and chomping the apples that were falling from the tree outside the door, which was fun to watch, and there was even a sweet little arbor we could dine in.  Yay!  The plays were all amazing and mind-blowingly good, but that's normal for Ashland which is quite professional in quality - Comedy of Errors was especially 'wow' - it had all the same dialogue but the locale was moved to twins coming from from New Orleans up to Harlem in search of their other twins.  One was a Marx brothers piece and the guys playing Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo were so good I felt like I'd been somehow swept off in a time vortex and was watching the real deal.

Anyway! That was a good thing, even though it now means catching up on everything that must be caught up on after a week away.  My kids are off to college this week, my son continuing in his welding courses and my daughter starting into Japanese - she's already taught herself how to write it and somewhat read it, now to speaking!  Means lots of J-Pop music, J-dramas and other fun stuff going by, variety is good.

Hope this week has been a good one for all of you as well!
primsong: (bible boogie)
Very excited that I get to spend next week down in Ashland, where the Oregon Shakespearian Festival has most excellent plays, fun little shops and an Elizabethan theater. We got tickets for the plays back in February, they sell out so quickly, and get to stay in a B&B with an "Abigail" theme (each room is decorated for a different famous woman named Abigail through history).  Means doing lots of watering plants, hanging out laundry, etc. today and tomorrow and hoping all the pets survive having the menfolk of the house taking care of them for a week, but totally worth it.

primsong: (jo keys)
Started thinking of what we could do for small summer trip in celebration of my daughter's upcoming high school graduation and ended up picking the Oregon Shakespearian Festival (which is quite good, but expensive and far away from me so I haven't been since high school m'self) - wow, I'm thinking as I preen myself,  I'm ahead of the game! I'm gonna get us something nice this summer because I was clever enough to think ahead! 

*goes online*....*discovers LOTS of people are waay more ahead of the game than I ever will be and everything suitable is booked up and/or sold out* 0_0

BUT - I was not foiled! At least not entirely.  After much virtual hunting and gathering yesterday, voila - we have a nice setup with four great plays and a cottage coming up, I just had to shove it all the way past summer into September to do it.  What a novelty, we get to go somewhere in September, as for the first time in 20 years we won't have anyone needing to be in school - what a grand (and alien) feeling!
primsong: (tarzan)
My mom called me to let me know their house, which they've had on and off the market for over a year with no nibbles, and which they were about to take off the market for winter, has sold!  They close on the last day of November.  So much for Thanksgiving relaxation... I can understand the buyers being anxious about getting in, they've already sold their old house and are living in an apt with stuff in storage, but my mom is a bit freaked at how fast it's all suddenly moving along. 

Thankfully they have a friend with an empty airplane hanger that they can store things in til spring, and an RV.  Into the camper they go, weiner-dog, cat and all yo-ho! They'll spend the winter as rolling stones gathering no moss while they check into other people's moss growing at various towns and decide where they want to plant themselves again.  I expect we'll see a fair bit of them as my house will now be the 'stability point' for Mom, Dad doesn't need one, he's happy with wheels on his feet.

The cat, Bentley, wasn't too happy with having to learn to wear a harness, but they've gotten him to where he and the dog both get harnesses put on each day ("getting the kids dressed for the morning") and he's finally ignoring it instead of spending the day trying to back out of it, heh.  Adventures never cease.
primsong: (squirrel)
Getting ready to make a long drive tomorrow to the other side of the mountains to visit my folks for Thanksgiving weekend. That, in itself, isn't too bad I suppose... if it were just me.  Sometimes I do become rather weary of being the one who is expected to make sure everyone *else* has clean clothing, packed and ready, in appropriate combination, amount and thickness for the season plus foodstuffs for the trip, plus the foodstuffs we're bringing as our share of the holiday, plus my mom's b-day stuff, plus checking maps, making sure there's gas in the car, money in the wallet and water in the water-bottles, etc etc.

Ever wanted to just pull out your hair and let them all go hungry/thirsty/naked?  Yeesh!

Anyway... I don't usually use a journal for grumbling to no purpose.  It made me wonder if you remember at what point your parents just pulled away from 'taking care' of your life (while still home? Not til after you moved out? Are they still lurking under your window making sure you change your bedding and have fresh water in your bedside cup?)

I've done relatively well - mine all do their own laundry and have gotten better at packing their own suitcases, they even sometimes offer to help with food without having to be prompted first... I just need to back off and let go without being there to 'save' them I guess.  Did your parents just let you fail, or were they there to catch you before you hit the ground?
primsong: (hamster)
One last trip to Maui, comin' right up... My dad's internment is this Friday, with the parade following on Saturday morning so my 'farewell' trip has started. Thankfully, I'm not alone - my brother will be on the island most of the time and I have a travel companion, a sweet lady from church who has never been which is a helpful distraction. Better to play tour guide and go parasailing than to mope, sez I.

I'm reading some of my dad's poetry at his internment, couldn't think of anything better than his own words.

Here's a rather nice article in the Maui News about the stick horse race, now in his memory: )

I'm the 'daughter' referred to, by my maiden name - I get to present a fancy prize to little kids and thus finally prove that I am not Don Ho's daughter, lol...

As to the store, we couldn't find a buyer in time and had to do a rapid, interesting liquidation of the inventory that is thankfully over with now - but we still have the business name, logo, client list, etc. so some dribble may yet come in...and believe it or not, someone came and pulled out that blasted huge hot-tub on the last day and hauled it off in his truck, hoorah! Sorry if any of you were planning on showing up this week to claim it. ;-)
primsong: (Default)
How do people who constantly live under stress survive that way? This is insane. I'm usually so laid back I don't experience the pressure-cooker effect very often.

The witness portion of the courtroom this morning went all right, a bit surreal but nothing too complicated. The initial verdict however is hard, as my friend lost custody of her girls at least until the divorce proceedings are further along and the girls, whom I had with me in the hall, immediately burst into tears screaming they didn't want to go with him and hated him.
Hard, hard, hard...

Lots of tears later, I got home to pack, answer innumerable phone calls, write obituaries for Oregon and Hawaii, notify more relatives, track down details for the obits, find a picture for said obit to send to local papers, make flight reservations, etc... I'll head out first thing tomorrow a.m., still don't know where I'll stay when I get there. At least we did find a probate lawyer person and have kept his store from turning into an instant 'garage sale'.

On the good side (there has to be one somewhere), we have a good home for my dad's dog and the local aquarium shop has taken care of his tropical fish tanks. All living things are cared for. The entire town loved him, and they are all rallying around to help us and want to hold a big party for him up in the polo fields where he died.

Thanks for everyone's condolances and support - next phase of the adventure begins.
primsong: (Default)
This must be the year for folks to go to Hawaii - first solodancer, then our dear Tinidril will be getting to go to Oahu, and now my own family has a chance to go to Maui in September.

This is a complete unknown to my kids, but I can smell the salt, the eucalyptus, the harbor, the smoke of the burning long ago... )

What is it about nostalgia for childhood homes, I wonder? We can never truly go back to them, but there they are in our memories. I want to share it with my children, as if I want them to get to meet me as a child. Maybe we can play together that way.
primsong: (Default)
Just thought I'd take a look at the states I've been to so far...

West to East and Back again )

Still so many places I would like to see, both here and in the rest of the world too.
primsong: (Default)
While I really do try to not be yet another "so sorry everyone, but I haven't had time to post anything here" - well... sometimes I end up among that milling throng anyway. I have managed to skim and read many of the other folks posts, at least.

Just back from Seattle last night having had an utterly delightful evening at the NW Tolkien Society's private reception for Alan Lee - though we were all rather in awe of him being there at first and it took a while to get up the nerve to speak to him. He was so gracious you just wanted to take him home and let him sort of bump around the corners in your house, drawing whatever he liked to his hearts content. I asked him about the "other" panels that were painted for the Rivendell set, as I knew there were others besides Isildur that we see so much of. He seemed very pleased with the query and carried on at some length about them each being one of the turning points in Elvish history, and the one I had seen a glimspe of ("a landscape of some sort" was all I could offer) was Eregion.

"Do you recall how they walk past those marvelous ruins, after they've left Rivendell..." he said softly, "I thought to myself, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could see those ruins before they fell into such decay. Yes, that panel was that tower, if you will, a part of the city that was later called Hollin. It showed the Noldorian Elves fleeing, after the Ring had been forged, in that war that occurred..." He said he had done another single panel of Sauron forging the Ring, and one of the Elven ships in a storm also. Wow! How I wish I could see them!

My daughter was with me but she was in such awe of him she never said a peep - even when he took her hand and said he was very pleased to meet her and tried to get her to respond, she was so overwhelmed. She said later she felt like that young man in Ever After when he goes looking for Da Vinci and faints. I had to nudge her when we went to his booksigning afterwards and during his slide-show he commented that Leonardo Da Vinci was a personal hero of his and he was "very attached" to his sketchbooks. He showed us photos of some of the other pages in Saruman's book that were never seen in the movie - gorgeous work, his homage to Da Vinci.

After the booksigning our little group gave him a basket of goodies including a terra-cotta chia hobbit foot that made him giggle like a little boy and give us all hugs - my only contribution to the basket was carrying it in from the car in the rain, but hey, I'll take a hug from Alan Lee if he offers it!

Now - on a slightly different topic: We've found an *amazing* music video for Boromir that Lin and the other Boromir fans *must* see...but bring your kleenex. Very well done, over here, choose "Boromir's Last Stand."

I'm off to continue packing...the never-ending story. Only four more days til we shift to sleepin' an' cookin' over there, which will make it feel much more like we've really moved.
primsong: (Default)
Another day whipping past - took yet another load of 'stuff' from one house to the other and wrangled it up the stairs, installed a light fixture and hung a cabinet then ran to get assorted chores done before picking up kids... wish it didn't get dark so soon this time of year! At least I don't have to worry about snow or something, living where it's very temperate.. around here "winter" is about 40 degrees. The thermometer seems to drop to about 40 and just stays there for months!

Hoorah for Ringers - My daughter and I get to see Alan Lee in Seattle on Dec. 9, thanks to the generosity of Lalaith and her sister. I can't get over how many lovely people there are out there sometimes. :-)

I've gathered enough funds that I could go to ORC in Pasadena, but am still hesistating... I fear the only folks I'll know are the 'party crowd' - I'm not much of a convention person, but if there was a nice table I could sit at and just *talk* to others as they came by, I would be very happy! That's the only reason I would really want to go - to see the other Ringers. The music and autographs and panels and such just don't pull me in, I guess.

So- is it worth all that time and money to go, hoping there will be someone 'mootable' there? Are any of *you* going to be there? And if so, do you need a roomie? ;-) If you don't mind having someone who might read you poetry while you're trying to fall asleep, that is. That drove Holbytla crazy, heh.


primsong: (Default)

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