Category Archives: pamily

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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18 Years with This Guy

Here we are in Montreal on the way to the Timbers match. We were on the Metro and a spanger was working her way through the train asking people if they spoke English and then telling a sob story and asking for money. She got to us and before we could even answer she shook her head and moved on.

Could we look more American?

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.

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FIFA World Cup Games 45 and 49and Orleans Car Accident

Finally, I’m going to tell about the car accident in Orleans. But first, World Cup action.

Thursday was, thank the maker, the last day of group play. Germany v. USA.

My gateway into soccer was via the German National Team and they are still my favorites which causes a lot of heartburn when they have to play against the USA. I wanted a good game, leaning Germany with the option of changing my mind if the party called for it.

Fortunately, it all worked out. Germany won and both teams went through to the next round. Whew!

Yesterday was a “rest day” but only from World Cup. I had a Timbers game to go to and it was awful. Terrible to watch and we lost. No need to go into details.

Then this morning 9am I was ready for Brazil and Chile. And there were stretches where I thought I was re-living last night’s game. Choppy and terrible to watch. Chile played their hearts out. Penalty kicks are awful and seemingly designed to make 1 man feel horrible. But Brazil goes through.

Tomorrow Netherlands v Mexico. That should be a great match.

Now, to finally tell the Orleans story. Relevant to the story: Orleans is in a rural area in the Six Rivers National Forest. My folks have a little trailer separate from the house and that’s where I stay when I visit.

I woke up in the middle of the night because of a weird noise — a high pitched humming sort of like a chainsaw. I got up and looked out the windows and didn’t see anything. Then I heard voices and I came to the most obvious conclusion: that there was marauding youth gang out murdering people with chainsaws.

I looked toward the house and the lights were on. I wondered how I should best prepare.

Then I saw my parents’ car go screaming out of the driveway.

It’s hard to tell but there’s a boulder and we think the car lost control and hit the boulder and then flipped. The whole scene didn’t make sense so we’re not clear what happened. Also, Ishi Pishi Road is the last road you would want to drive like a maniac on. I will try to post photos of it tomorrow. It’s very narrow and winding.

I ran to the house and went inside and the dog was there wagging his tail.

I then assumed that someone in my family must have keeled over and they were rushing to town (2 hour drive). My sister was visiting too, but neither of our spouses. I went from room to room looking for clues.

Why did they leave me? The dog wagged his tail. I didn’t think they’d leave the dog to the murderous youth gang.

I couldn’t come up with a scenario where the strange noise and disappearance of my family were connected. I knew I couldn’t sleep so I fretting on the couch and then searched for clues and then asked the dog why they left us there in regular intervals.

I finally went to the trailer to put on my shoes so I could feel like I was doing something productive and the car came back.

Here’s what happened. A car went too fast and flipped and started a fire. Fires in the middle of the forest in June are extremely hazardous. They’d seen the flames from their window and hurried to see what was happening. There were neighbors and other people helping to do fire fighting stuff in the hopes the fire wouldn’t spread.

There were young people in the car. One broke his leg. Allegedly there were illegal substances (plural!) found at the scene.

Mission accomplished, they were able to keep the fire under control until the volunteer fire department got there. And it looked terrible. But no one was hurt. Well, the guy with the broken leg was hurt. But no one died.

And my family promised to wake me up next time there’s an emergency.

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First Tomato!

Someone needs major tutorial action on the latest version of Photoshop. It took me about an hour to do this. In my defense I am a tad run down and my brain isn’t on full strength.

This was waiting for me when I returned home. It’s now on its velvet pillow in the kitchen awaiting a major life change. There’s one more close and I’m guessing I’m about two weeks away from inundation. I can’t wait.

I had a wonderful vacation in Orleans and the day we arrived home I had just enough time to clean up and then drive to the airport to get on a plane to go to a work trip. I arrived home from that last night and I put in most of a day at the office today and now I’m looking forward to some couch time.

Lots of great photos and possibly a few stories to come.

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Local News Wrap Up

Hey – check out this craptastic photo from when I saw the U.S. Men’s National Team play Belize in the Gold Cup earlier this week. It was my first time ever seeing them play and I loved it. Can’t wait for World Cup next year.

– – –

The morning after the 4th of July I went into the kitchen to put my tea cup away and I saw a man in our backyard opening the shed door.

I said, “Why is there a guy in our backyard?”

Bob jumped up and said, “I don’t know.”

And we both went running out there. He was wearing Jack Skellington pajamas and looked pretty harmless.

He introduced himself like he knew us and I thought it was pretty obvious he was high. He said he was looking for his mother. She had run off.

Bob hustled him out of the backyard and told him to get lost. I thought maybe we should make sure he got home in one piece.

Bob said he saw him later on the porch of the house where he told us he lived. He did not make eye contact.

We’ve got new renters moving in next door. Long time readers will recall that this is a regular event. We really liked the previous renters. It was a couple and they were stable and friendly (uh, but their dog pooped in our yard) but otherwise they were terrific. They’re having a baby and bought a house.

The house has been empty longer than it was between previous renters and word is that the rental agent took extra time to make sure she got good people. We’ll cross our fingers.

I grew a sugar beet. I found what looked like a pink turnip. I tasted it and it tasted like sugar cane mixed with nuclear waste. I guessed it might be a sugar beet and found a photo online. Maybe the wrong seed slipped in at the seed factory?

If I ever time travel to the 50’s and start a band it’s going to be called The Sugar Beats.

I have no idea where the time goes. I woke up at 6:30 and I’ve been going almost non-stop since then. I still have a ton of chores and my poor yard desperately needs attention. But I’m on my way to a Timbers game. Maybe tomorrow.

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Anniversary Teacup

When my sister and I were fairly young, we bought my parents two teacups for their wedding anniversary.

There was this fancy store in the shopping area where my Mom did her grocery shopping. It was the kind of place where you bought crystal bowls for wedding gifts.

I don’t know how I got the idea but I decided we were going to do this so we scraped together our cash and went to the store and picked out two fancy teacups.

One broke so there’s only this one left.

The person on the staff who helped us was very nice and I remember thinking at the time that we were so hot-shit grown-up buying fancy gifts at a fancy store. I’m sure they were amused.

The reason I bring it up now is my parents recently celebrated their 54th (?) wedding anniversary and my sister arranged for them to get a fancy room at hotel in Ashland, Or. where they were going to see a play.

When my Mom thanked me, she mentioned the teacups. She said she asked my sister why we picked this pattern and my sister replied, “They were the cheapest ones.”

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