Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
I had never been to Exposition Park even though I know that's where the Memorial Coliseum is, as well as the Natural History Museum, Science Center and African American History Museum.
The park has a Rose Garden. As a native of Portland, the City of Roses, I have a great affinity to roses, so I enjoyed walking through the rows of rose beds.
Misty, in honor of Mia's roommate Misti, who graduated from Biola University on Saturday
And this amazing Hot Cocoa rose. Doesn't it look yummy enough to drink?
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Other people were there including a very cute three year old boy. I won't post his picture because I don't have his parents' permission. Trust me, though, he's really very cute.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Here are mine:
1. I am a native Oregonian and my father was a native Oregonian. I was born in Portland, he was born in Norway, Oregon, a little dairyland coastal wide spot in the road in Coos County. When I returned to Portland to live in 1990, I was driving a car with California license plates. People would pass me on the freeway and glare at me or honk. In the 90s a lot of people were moving into Oregon from CA cashing out on their homes and buying big places in Oregon and making the housing market shoot up. I was returning home, but they didn't know that. There was a joke going around during that time, the punchline of which was "what do Oregonians fear most? A Californian with a U-Haul." I wanted to roll down my window and yell, "I have Oregon roots from 1915! When did your family get here?!"
2. I've had dinner with a cannibal. Really. We lived in the jungles of New Guinea on the Indonesian side of that second largest island in the world. When we first moved into the Moskona tribal area we hiked in from a helicopter base to visit the "chief" of the tribe and ask his permission to live there. Yikmemo was the biggest, fiercest chief, had ten wives, many sons, and was reported to be one of the last cannibals in the area (our villagers always maintained that THEY had never eaten people, but the people in the next village down river did; we'd go to that village and hear, we never were cannibals but those people upstream were.) I was five months pregnant with Mike, so I was walking a little slower than the rest of the group. Our friend Doug took off with the carriers and Dan and Deb, and John stayed with me. When John and I arrived twenty minutes after they did, muddy from slipping and sliding along the jungle trail, breathless, and a little concerned about our pre schoolers, we found them sitting by Yikmemo, happily consuming sweet potatoes while he stared at their little blonde heads. So we just sat down and joined them.
3. I learned to knit left handed when I was six years old by sitting facing my Grandma Rylander and copying what she did.
4. I love to read children's books. When I was in grad school getting my teaching credential I took a Children's Lit class. It was one of the best classes I ever took and the teacher's love for children's books ignited mine. One of my life goals is to own (and read) all the Newberry Award books.
5. This spring I walked into two arrest incidents on the streets near my house. We are living in LA's inner city and we like to walk. One night we were going north on Vermont, saw four or five LAPD cars, and were told as we approached, "There are a lot of reasons why you don't want to pass along here." Those reasons were lined up against the wall, hands over their heads, waiting to be frisked. We went around the other way, about 1/2 mile out of our way. No problem. The other time we saw what we thought was a tow truck with lights flashing so we just kept walking along the side street. We didn't realize until we were about 10 feet away that the USC Security Patrol was handcuffing a man who was leaning against the wall. Don't know why USC Security was on a public street a mile from campus, but we decided not to ask...
6. I've always loved the beach. My first memory of seeing the beach was waking up one morning in a motel room where we had stopped on the way to Coos County to see my grandparents and seeing the beach and ocean. I fell in love right then and there. How appropriate that John loves the beach too and that we spent much of our courtship year going to the beaches in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
7. When I was a young girl, I collected coins because my brother Jim collected coins and I wanted to do everything he did. I still have a lot of the collection, particularly my penny collection. I lost the 1943 steel penny at some point and I'd love to have one again.
Friday, May 25, 2007
We did do lots and lots of measuring for rugs to have made to put down on the pergo floors. We did talk to home insurance agents and we went to one car repair place and it was closed until May 29th, so we went to another and had a very nice conversation with the very knowledgeable rep, a nice young man.
I did go out to the back of the new house when I heard the automatic sprinklers come on and checked out how they were working. One was shooting straight up in the air about ten feet. It's going to need tweaking.
I don't think the change in our lives has sunk in yet. I know we're moving, I know we're looking for new jobs, I know we're leaving some friends and moving closer to others, but it doesn't feel real yet. But June 30th is coming and maybe on July 1st, it will feel as real as it will be.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tomorrow morning we will go up to the new house and pick up our keys and clickers, walk around the neighborhood, get any paperwork we need. We have a long list of places we want to visit, too. Mechanic, insurance agent, maybe the school district office.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Twining's Earl Grey tea is a good complementing drink.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I got an email from a friend this afternoon titled with just the name of an older mutual friend. When I saw the email, my heart sank. Oh no. She's going to tell me that he's dead. I have gotten so many of those emails with the title just being the name of a person. Do people title their death notice emails like that to mentally and emotionally prepare us for the deadly news? My fil used to teach a class titled "Aging, Death and Dying". He always instructed me to ease into telling bad news, to say, "Are you sitting down?" or "I have something to tell you and it is not the best news," or some statement like that. Maybe writing the name of a person like the title of an obituary is the way it's done on email now. How do you title an email "Bad news about your friend"?
I didn't open the email for awhile. I had to steel myself for the shock. So when I finally opened it, the email had much better news than I was expecting. I was actually pleased that our friend is home from the hospital and "only" had heart surgery.
Things are moving ahead smoothly on the purchase of our home. It looks like we will be home owners on Friday.
My weekend was lovely. I got up Saturday morning and pulled on beach walking clothes and went for a solitary stroll along the beach for almost an hour. There were already people out surfing, beach combing, walking their dogs. It was relaxing and when I got back to the house, there was a cuppa from Starbuck's waiting for me.
Yesterday after church we had dinner with the blueberry ranch friends. We've been close friends for many, many years. We just sat and chatted over pasta. We're looking forward to many more lunches, dinners and coffees with them.
Then we spent three hours chatting with John's sister. Mart always makes me laugh. I'm looking forward to living in the same town with her, too.
This afternoon John returned bearing a gift: my Mother's Day present from the Soldier and the Princess! Four cds by The Liberated Wailing Wall! When our car was vandalized over at the Long Beach Ave house, all our cds were stolen. Our wonderful children are systematically rebuying our favorites for us for birthdays, Christmas and other special days. We are thrilled and it makes it easy for them to know what to get the mom and dad who need everything :). Not really. I have most everything I want or need, especially the people who love me. Thanks, Chaplain Dan and Jennifer!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I shall take my camera, a good book, some movies, and of course plenty of knitting. Probably the Cashsoft...I went to my lys yesterday but ended up not choosing a pattern. Just too many options. I know I want to knit a cardigan, but there were so many choices--no collar, big collar, plain stockinette, ribbed, cabled. I left with ideas but no decision. I'm going to take my needles and cast on and see what happens.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
So, in a moment of weakness and total suspension of disbelief, I purchased a piece of filmy blue and white silky fabric thinking I'd whip up a little skirt. I was sure I didn't need a pattern and since my sewing machine doesn't much like light weight material, I decided I could hand stitch this little thing.
I forgot how annoying it is to cut out slippery material. You just can't get the stuff to lie still. It squirms all over the cutting board. Why did I think that a gored skirt with triangular inserts was a good idea?
But I really loved this material. I persevered until the weddings and moving hit, hand stitching those wiggling seams. Then I stuffed it away with all but the hem finished. It was too cold to wear during the winter anyway, right? There it might have stayed stuffed away in a box and hidden from the world except, you know, I'm moving again, and I have to pull out the boxes and empty them out and repack them again. Nothing like moving to reveal those UFOs, huh, Flea?
I love this fabric so much that I may even wear this skirt and hope that others will be equally mesmerized by the exquisite color and drape and not notice the horribly uneven hemline.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
We need to purchase a set of living room furniture (sofas and chairs) so we have visited a lot of furniture stores and sat on a lot of sofas. I want the furniture to have washable slipcovers, and the deal is that the sofa and chairs have to be comfortable for both of us, even though I am 5'4" and John is 6'2". We have found a set at a brand store and we can choose the color of the slipcovers. That's where the stress gets stepped up. I have to choose colors.
turquoise and other shades of blue
and beach and ocean colors
I know I'll figure it out. I THINK we will get blue sofa and chairs, light gray/stone carpets and paint with light, light blue and a grayish white.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So, we have gone looking for housing and employment. First, where shall we live? We have life commitments and goals that in part guide our decisions. We want to be near our children, but they are scattering to the far reaches of the globe. (Why should we be surprised when our kids do this? It is what we did and what we taught them was normal behavior. We moved around a lot when D and D were young and we were in grad school, and ended up in Indonesia on the island of New Guinea for most of the 80s and M and M were born there. After 12 years in Oregon, we migrated south to Los Angeles. Our kids are just following our examples of wanderlust and adventure.) We want to be near other friends and family and not have to start all over again building community and putting down roots. We want to be able to afford to live without spending our whole lives, every day, for the next thirty years, working to make a house payment. We are committed to living simply, remaining physically active, having time to pursue our interests.
After long debate, discussion and prayer, we hit on the solution. It simply was an aha moment for us. Less house=less money=less work=less stress. This is how it works out for us:
We have purchased a place in a 55+ manufactured homes homeowners park in southwest Ventura County, California. John gets his freedom from lawn mowing, but I get enough space for gardening. We will be living less than 12 miles from one sibling, several close friends and a very good and supportive church where we have a lot of long time connections. We will have plenty of opportunities to hike, bike, and beach comb along the Pacific Coast and in the Santa Monica Mountains. Our children love this area and want to visit us there. The cost of living is lower than in Los Angeles County, but we are still close enough to hop the metro train for a day trip when we miss LA and all its weirdness. It looks like there will be ample job opportunities for both of us.
We like to use the term "semi retired" for what our lives will be like.
We will miss our friends and co workers here at World Impact. Over the past four years we have make some really close friends on staff. We'll miss our weekly dinners with our small group at the Peters' house and playing with Olivia and Naomi. We will deeply miss our church, Grace Brethren Church of Long Beach and our Bible studies at Journey of Faith Church in Manhattan Beach. Our plan is to stay connected to people with periodic visits to them and from them, email and phone calls. There is always the grief of parting and we are well acquainted with that grief, having parted so many times from friends through the years. But we will have our memories and we will still have the connections.
When will this all take place? June-July.
It's time to get out the boxes and start packing again.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
In the evening, I took my usual Tuesday walk along The Strand in Manhattan Beach.