Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A train trip to Portland

Katie in the Edmonds train station

Since we can't stop birthdays from coming, we might as well celebrate them. Katie's and mine are close together, so she arranged for us to take a train trip to Portland to meet her friend, Francesca, and celebrate.

Getting on the train in Edmonds, after a drive and ferry ride

I drove over to Port Townsend on Monday evening, and after Mexican food and a sleepover in Mike and Katie's Cute Cottage, we drove to Kingston, left the car and hopped a ferry to Edmonds.

Katie brought everything in one big bag, because her wheelie bag didn't match her outfit

I dressed to match my smallest wheelie bag and we brought plenty of snacks for the 5-hour trip down. I cut and pasted in my notebook and Katie started another pair of socks, and we had plenty of time to laugh and talk.

Super Thai food in Francesca's neighbohood

Katie met Francesca at work in Spokane many years ago

Francesca, who also used to be a social worker, like Katie

The kid in the group, happy with the prospect of a great spread

Francesca lives on the 10th floor of a building right downtown, with a small balcony and a wide, wonderful view, from the city and up through the hills to the new building going up across the street. She has lots of art projects and instruments around  her apartment, and played Happy Birthday to us on her harmonium...a wonderful instrument with bellows. She also made us an amazing birthday cake with Real Whipped Cream on the side.

Our birthday cake with candle in the middle, glaze, and walnuts

Thank you, Thank You!! Francesca!!! She even bought us old lady bus passes for the first two days, and we went right to Powells the first evening. I was good and only bought 2 books...but roamed over the whole place in the hour I was allotted...what a treasure that store is! LOTS more graphic novels since the last time I was there. I bought a graphic novel on helping elder parents and one with design inspiration. Steve called while I was in Portland to say that Mom might have to move to a higher level of care. Luckily all my brothers are on board as helpers.

Wenesday, walking in Portland

There's So Much to see...and to EAT! We went to the craft museum, no one was too excited about the show at the art museum, we stopped to check out a Goodwill, and Francesca found a great tray/table top for a reasonable price.

An interesting apartment building across the street from GoodWill

I am trying really, really hard not to buy anything, and also could not breathe in the musty air inside the store. Katie and Francesca are experienced second hand store shoppers.

Portland Reflections...this place started in the year I was born

Good thing I wore my red jacket from Connie so they could find me when I loitered behind to take pictures. I've learned how to use my iPhone to cut down on extra equipment, but I still like my camera best.There is a faint reflection of me taking the picture in the window. 

We had a great Indian Lunch, and I was so excited, I forgot to document. I miss the Indian restaurant in Port Townsend, and must do more Indian cooking, because I love the food so much!

Great sushi for dinner!

It is still possible to find inexpensive places with great ethnic food in Portland...and I was happy to learn that we can mostly do the same on the Peninsula.

Katie and Francesca at Sushi

There was a picture of me, too, but I put it on my Facebook page. We did a potato chip and pop run to Safeway...they had the fancy blue cheese chips, and I a new find or re-find of mine, Lays Regular, because they are so thin and salty, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper for me...a seldom-indulged treat...that weird flavor. We watched a whole disc of West Wing, which I hadn't seen previously...a potential new addiction, as soon as I finish the Paradise Department store. Francesca favored us with another Harmonium tune...I wish I'd taken a picture. She has ordered a smaller version which she will be able to take on the bus for concerts....she has a rich and varied life on little money in the city.

River Walk

Green space near water, in the middle of a large city

Thursday, already, Quick trip with LOTS of visual, gustatory, intellectual, and emotional stimulation. Again, I was so excited, I forgot to take pictures of lunch from one of the pods of food carts...I went around twice before finally deciding on 4 different dumplings with 4 different sauces for $4 from the Dump Truck and Amazing fish and chips from a Scottsman whose speech I could barely understand because of the accent. There was a park nearby for eating, with the upper level for the homeless people sleeping there, with their blankets and possessions around them...something to think about.

Restored facade near the river

Architectural detail

Manhole cover for the Rose City

Hung Far Low

Tacos sign in a window. I am reflected in the bottom center

Portland is a richly-textured city, trying to be human-friendly. We had a conversation with a street cleaner, who will be marching in one of the parades this summer. Portland has a different vibe from Seattle. A number of times people on the street just started talking with us, happy to show off their home.

As in Paris, street texture invites photos...suggested by Katie

Selfie at Union Station

Union Station, and I was home in my own bed Thursday night

We'll be back!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter, Winter, Solstice, Winter, Winter, Winter

I don't celebrate the traditional Christmas...I'm more of a Pantheist than a Christian and  hate all the Commercialism and guilt associated with the season...all the hoopla IS a way to pass the dark days before the Winter Solstice starts tipping the earth back toward the sun.

My West Coast family and I Love reasons for cooking and sharing food, so here are my end of December 2014 pictures.
A few days in the twenties in December, frost on the ground cover

A cold day at Ediz Hook

Looking across the harbor at Port Angeles, snow on the mountain tops and a few days at sea level

Celebratory Latkees...I LOVE potato pancakes any season

A two-table celebration at Doug's house in Seattle

Sarah, Serene, Connie, Hugh

Seren'e Cupcake Creations...she is an artist of cake!

Amal and her mom, who now lives nearby

David, Brian, Doug

Doug and Thayer cooking...Thayer is getting GOOD!

Lots of busy food prep going on

Thayer cured salmon and made potato latkes to go with...Very, Very Good!

Multi-tasking in the kitchen: Thayer, Serene, Amal

A small wall piece of my Mom and Dad in the Forties for Serene

One for Thayer of Dad at sixteen with a beloved train

Typical winter foggy day from the window where I sit at my computer

 I'm trying to put the dark days to good use, although sometimes the gloom gets me down. I finally broke my way into the process of making an eBook combination of DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, the book, the class, and lots of additional information and images I've gathered over the last 10 years....I LOVE learning new skills!

My friend, Barb Kobe, is encouraging me along, to become known on Pinterest because a woman from Paris saw one of my fabric journals there and ordered my eBook on that topic.

Birthday Deal: 2 books and a kit and free shipping for $20

And to do my Birthday Deal above. Fast approaching my 68th birthday...and having more time at home is motivating me to clean out boxes of books, kits, patterns, and anything else I can probably do without.

The North Peninsula Surface Design group is having a show at the Port Angeles Library, so I've been making wall pieces (small, so they won't take up much space to store)...but every day a few more pages on the book...Stay Tuned!

Forest Dream...using up the Good Stuff!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Sense of Time--Winter Solstice 2014 and New Year 2015

Mt. Baker floats above The Strait of Juan de Fuca, as seen from the street above mine mid December 2014
An NPR program about time speeding up with an increase in gravity—I can hardly get my mind around that one…time running faster closer to the center of the earth.

Sketchbook, playing that leads to the next thing

Not wearing my watch on the trip (my Heroine’s Journey II)—mostly because the watch was too gummed up to change time zones, but also because I wanted to remind myself to stay in each moment…at least as much as I could. That continues to be a goal. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, since they seem to be easily ignored, but I am constantly examining and resolving…It’s pretty noisy inside my head.


Daylight Savings time and being able to set my own time now that I am retired from my day job…instead I am engaged 24/7 in my true career: All Art, All the Time, even though sometimes it doesn’t look like it, even to me. I do a lot of wandering, but see it as feeding my muse.  

Sketchbook, drawing on old dictionary page

Time seems to be a convention that requires agreement, and I don’t always agree, especially with the dumb convention of the dumb Bush II era of making daylight savings time run longer, which makes more likely the possibility of running over black-dressed school kids at 7:30am when I used to drive down the hill to work. Now that I don’t have to go to an office 4 or 5 days a week that is not a danger, and I am following what I often said I would do--not force myself to get out of bed until after daylight. Now at the nadir of light it is 8:04am, occasionally I cheat and get up early and turn on the lights. For some reason I can stay up after dark, but getting out of my bed’s cocoon of heat before daylight has always been Rough, and I’ve always lived far north where the contrast between December and June light length is Vivid!

Sketchbook, start with a photo and GO, the animals are stitched into fabric...bought at a junque store

Time can run fast or slowly—my perception of time changes—listening to Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman and thinking about how ideas generate more ideas. Being absorbed in an activity cancels out time—flow. We are So Lucky to be creative beings, to be able to lose ourselves in our own particular chosen work or people, and being with other creative people and gently leading oneself back again and again into the studio generates more ideas…and can make time stand still.

Sketchbook: Playing with Sierra's face for her portrait

Listening to Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer reading poetry, singing songs, building images…”the rain came down like suicide…or typewriters.”  The darkness will be with me, as long as I am me, but I dance with it, knowing that light and dark, as well as expanding and contracting time will always be part of the dance.

My love affair with potato pancakes...festival of olive oil and light, insulation from cold

The sunny bits in the middle of the day, especially in winter, are the best parts for going out…or staying in. Enjoy your time. Have an interesting 2015…how will you spend your time?...Live!

Chocolate filled "Sun Drops" from Country Aire

Solstice lights and Works in Progress