Category Archives: pamily

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #3

The sleepless trend continues although now I’m sleepless in Orleans. We don’t have a schedule here so I can stay in bed as long as I want if I fall asleep again. But still, by afternoon I have a fuzzy head.

At the last minute I decided to go to California for Fourth of July since it’s my Dad’s birthday and we wanted some family time. My sister is here, too. Here’s Summer. I was trying to get her to do her silly face.

I think I’m numbering these posts goofy because today is starting week #3 but I’m reporting on week #2.

I worked on the story, the blurb and the draft but made little meaningful progress. I don’t get a lot done on the weekdays anyway and then Friday I was in the car all day driving here. I listened to S-Town Podcast on the way which was fantastic for a long drive with heavy traffic. Yesterday I read some commentary on it — this could be a whole other post but I’m not up for it right now — let’s just say I had similarly complex reactions about the story.

Highly recommend.

Back to my write-a-thon progress. I have plenty of time in Orleans but I’m not always inclined to work. I like to be outside and listen to the river and relax.

Here’s the view:

My goal for week #3 is to keep on doing what I’m doing but more. I have a couple of days when I get back home when I can be productive.

If you’re thinking about donating but haven’t yet, I strongly recommend sponsoring Raj because he is giving away prizes. Here’s his post with all the details.

Here’s the list of my classmates who are participating. Go hug a writer.


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Some Other Orleans Tidbits

As per my entire life lately, I’m trying to do a million things at once. I left the taxes until almost the last minute so I’m trying to plow through that today. Also, the sun is out so I need to do my 15 minute gardener routine. And Timbers this evening!

This is Summer. She was a rescue dog and still has a few issues with socializing but she’s a cutie. She likes chewing on things and chasing a ball outside.

This is Gracie. She is a lover and will crawl into your arms demanding attention. She also terrorizes other dogs and most other cats, even though she is smaller than all of them.

This is what the Klamath looked like last week. High, muddy and fast. You can’t see the high water mark in this photo but it’s up on the grass.

I take a million photos of this view and I couldn’t put my hands on a better summer photo than this for comparison.

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Projects with Dad

I failed to get a before photo so this is a screenshot of a similar dutch oven with original handle.

I spent the week hanging out with Mom and Dad.

I made no knead bread when I got there. At home I use sourdough but there I did the original NYT recipe.

I wanted to bake in Mom’s dutch oven but I was worried about putting the lid in the oven with that handle on it.

For my home dutch oven I bought a metal handle for the lid. I love they way they call it a “classic” stainless steel knob. Not just any old knob.

Mom and Dad live in the sticks and I was making the bread immediately so it’s not like we could run out and buy one or order one. I asked Dad if he had anything I could use.

He said, of course, and took me out to the shop.

Here’s a closer look in case you didn’t catch it in the larger photo.

Yes, that’s a box just for handles and knobs.

I got to pick which one I liked.

Then, we had to find the right sized screw.

The screw was too long so we had to cut it using a special cutting gadget that I failed to get a photo of.

I said: wow, you have a gadget for everything.

Dad said: I have gadgets that I haven’t figured out what they do yet.

And here we go. Ready for no knead bread.

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Papaya Update

Generally, there are few foods I won’t eat. That’s excluding unconventional or uncommon stuff like offal or bugs.

I hate tuna fish but I would eat it if I was a guest at someone’s house and that was what they offered. I don’t like yellow mustard or tarragon — which are more like flavors than foods. But if I get a sandwich with mustard or something in a restaurant has tarragon, I’ll eat it. I don’t like scallops but that’s because scallops don’t like me. I guess it’s the fat in them (?) but they give me terrible indigestion.

I can’t think of anything else right now.

One food I do not like is papaya. I don’t even like to be in the same room as papaya. I think it smells gross.

When I was a teenager I was in Hawaii with my family and we were on an inter-island flight and I made a terrible face and said: I smell papaya.

We were flying over a papaya orchard.

When I tell people this story they tell me: You were in a plane. You couldn’t possibly smell that.

I could.

Recently it occurred to me that I am a grown-ass woman and that perhaps I like papaya now. I haven’t tried it in decades. Maybe this is a delightful treat that I will regret not eating for so many years.

So while I was at my folks in CA this past weekend I bought a papaya. Even as I peeled it, I made a face. I tried a bite and then made a face like my tongue needed to be scraped and bleached.

Conclusion: I still hate papaya.

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[UPDATE: OOPS. Someone on our staff scheduled a post and didn’t preview and had the photo dimensions reversed. The management at You’re Doing It Wrong apologizes for any inconvenience.]

Twenty years ago today we got married.

We are celebrating by returning to the scene of the crime for a nice dinner. In the evening there will be live music followed by a screening of Star Wars under the stars.

This afternoon I put something in the outdoor fridge. It looked like a pitcher of iced tea exploded out there. I got some sudsy water and baking soda and a sponge and took everything apart and scrubbed it clean.

Later, when Bob got home I casually asked him if there was an iced tea explosion in the outside fridge. He said he’d pulled the pitcher out too quickly but that he thought he’d cleaned it up.

I stood there with my mouth working open and closed but no sound coming out. I finally said, “I can’t imagine how you could think that was cleaned up.”

And we laughed. Twenty years ago that would have been a huge fight.

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Road Trip!

I must have written, more than once, about my struggles to use my phone and before that my ipod to listen to podcasts on long car rides by myself. I’ve had little success and usually end up having to pull over a lot or else switch to the CD player and listen to music.

Now that there is an Apple store near the office I can easily go ask the geniuses when I get stuck. (I really want the plural of genius to be genii.)

I don’t regularly listen to things so I don’t want to subscribe. I just wanted to look around and pick individual episodes from podcasts that sounded interesting like Should I Worry About This? that my friend, Eden, is on. Then I wanted them to play one after the other on a playlist.

Apparently this isn’t how the kids to it. They subscribe to things, listen to them when they’re on and then delete them and go on with their lives. I was handed off to 3 different geniuses how marveled at my request. I was thinking, I’m finally using a modern gadget and I’m not even doing it right. The third one said: huh, that’s interesting. Let’s see if we can figure out how to do that.

We did. I think. I’m ready with the entire Serial Season 2 queued up and a second station (because it isn’t a playlist in podcasting) with a variety of things. We’ll see how I do. I have a stack of CDs ready just in case.

I wished I would have remembered to show them how I listen to the iPhone in my car — via this olde timey cassette adapter.

Bob put some super fertilizer on the lawn. He just mowed it 4 days ago. Yikes.

I’m hitting the road to visit the Pamily. Bob will be here guarding things. Be good while I’m gone.

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Gardening Influence

I had to share this terrific photo of me and my sister with my Grandpa, probably my first gardening influence.

It might be hard to tell in the photo but those red things around our necks are neck kerchiefs. I love that even at that young age with not a worry in the world, I still have giant bags under my eyes. I’m still always trying to find a product or treatment to minimize my eye bags.

You’d think looking at family photos showing generations of women with eye bags at all stages of life would convince me, but no, I keep thinking I can do something about my eye baggage.

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Shy Boy Went to Live on A Farm

RIP you weird cat.

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Wild Animal Park

On Hilla’s birthday we spent part of the afternoon in this wild animal park. It wasn’t exactly what you’d expect. It was a huge lovely park that happened to have some animals. It was a great place to wander on a fall afternoon. It was warm enough in the sun but cool in the shade.

This is how they displayed the stuffed animals for sale out front. That’s not how I would do it.

Not related to the animal park but every morning that I was in Bad K I saw a Jack Black-looking guy in small silver car drive by our hotel while cranking heavy metal.

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We made it to Bad Kissingen. Operation Elder Birthday is now in full swing.

I hope you all have the pleasure someday of having your almost 90 year old Auntie try to wrestle your suitcase from you when you come to visit. She wanted to carry it up the stairs. (No, I did not let her. She did get to carry the computer bag. You have to pick your battles with this woman.)

We had a nice visit last night and some dinner and have checked into our hotel. She’s already got us on a bus tour this afternoon.

My German Aunties just love shipping us off to a bus tour. I thought it would be nice to hang out at her place and read our books and drink lemonade but nope, we’re going to tour around the area – which is lovely right now. We’ve been so lucky on weather. It’s sunny but cool and you can see the trees starting to change. There’s a big tree outside the window of our hotel that has bright red leaves at the top.

The train journey went smoothly. We had this family with about 10 people and 15 ginormous suitcases, 2 whiny children and some noisy electronics in the car with us on the first leg. I was thrilled to switch trains in Brussels but they were in the same car on the leg to Frankfurt, too. To their credit, they tried to keep the kids entertained but they were only marginally successful.

We left them in Frankfurt.

A couple snafus: there was a problem with my credit card at the hotel yesterday – their machine was on the fritz and I think the multiple attempts must have triggered something on the bank’s end because they were unable to process the charge once the machine was working. Bob is going to get it sorted out. Then within a 12 hour period I had 4 phone calls from unknown numbers. That’s more incoming calls than I normally get in a month.

I put the phone on Do Not Disturb and am trying not to worry that this is some sort of scam that will turn up on my bill later. No time for problem solving right now.

We were able to wash some clothes last night and the shower in this hotel is wonderful so I’m refreshed and ready for my bus tour. The last hotel had a terrible shower: barely lukewarm mist so this was a great treat. Not sure if I’ll check in again. Maybe if I get some good shots from the bus tour.

(Aside to Kenman: we were on a DB train yesterday that was 10 minutes late!!)

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