Wednesday, July 8, 2009

S'Nooz of the day

A random sampling from today's newspaper:

There is no cure for cellulite.
And only women get it, due to their genetic makeup.
I quote: The connective tissue bands under men's skin are crisscrossed like a net, keeping their fat more EVENLY RESTRAINED. Women's tissue bands are organized in vertical columns, so fat may BULGE IRREGULARLY.
That's all I have to say about that.
At least we don't have prostates.

Wheat-gluten intolerance is skyrocketing.
Not just being diagnosed more often.
The incidence of celiac disease has increased from around one in over 600 fifty years ago to about one in 100 today. Some doctor saved over 9,000 blood samples from air force recruits between 1948 and 1954 and the study compared test results from these men with more than 12,000 taken from men recently. The question now is "Why?" Something to do with the immune system, or the food we eat, or other environmental factors?
It's strange that with all of the science and high technology in our lives, so many things are still inexplicable.

This from Dr. Oz:
Cook your fresh (and preferably organic) vegetables in the crock-pot, don't let the steam escape, drink the broth, and it's almost as good as eating them raw. Better in the case of veggies such as carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Good news for a raw-veggie-phobe like me.

A travel tip from Ideal Bite (bite-sized ideas for light green living:
Take your own empty drink container on airplanes.
Save a plastic cup or two.
Brilliance in small ideas.

A photo of Mum and Natalie, who is in a rare state of cleanliness.
Natalie, not Mum.
Missing Mum a little.
Although I do love an empty house.
Jeff and I get along better.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Friday Night Patriots

I love old theatres.
The Cameo in Newberg is my favourite venue for movie-watching.

Chilly in the winter, hot in the summer.
But full of character and wonderful ornate details in the decorating.
Gotta love these light fixtures.

It is worth the extra dollar to sit in the loges.
Kick back and put your feet up.

We won't mention the archaic toilets.

Plus, you ALWAYS see someone you know.

On Friday night we went to a free 4th of July concert at the historic Liberty Theatre in downtown Astoria, courtesy of the North Coast Symphonic Band.
Do you get the feeling that EVERYTHING in Astoria is historic?
The Liberty is almost 100 years old and, like everything else in Astoria, has been the subject of restoration. The moldings inside are incredible. I'm not sure that these photos do it justice.

One of the best numbers of the evening was a medley of all of the songs of the armed forces. The announcer asked the families of members of each branch to stand as the anthem was played.

We stood for Edwin...Army Airborne.
Shout out to Edwin!

Then we stood for Charlie...Proud Marines!

And stayed standing for Jeff and the Coastguard.

Proud to be American and grateful to all those who made it possible.

A New Boy in Town

Move over, John Grisham.
I have seen the future and his name is Robert Rotenberg.
His FIRST fiction book, seen above, is a terrific read.
I can't believe it is his first.
His second had better be on its way, because he left some plot lines unresolved.
A dirty trick, that.
If you're a Grisham fan, or like a good forensic mystery, this the book for you.

For my squeamish readers, leave it alone.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Walking (yawn) Tour of Astoria

WARNING: If Victorian houses bore you, you will find this post SERIOUSLY tedious.

On Saturday, we awoke feeling severely-not-up-to-climbing-the-hill to the Astoria Column, which had been MY plan of the day.
So we had to resort to Plan #2 (Jeff's) to do the walking tour of historic Astoria.
There were, get this, 67 historic sites in the pamphlet.
All of which Jeff wanted to see.
That's a lot of walking and READING ALOUD FROM THE PAMPHLET.

Astoria is VERY HILLY.
In case you didn't know.
So off we went.
I have to admit that I was gradually won over.
How can you not love this....

...or this?

Most of these houses are 150 years old or more. They have been lovingly restored and DO NOT have double-glazed windows. Beautiful they might be, but you couldn't pay me to live there in Astoria's chilly winters.
The early pioneers of Astoria were a hardy bunch, building houses and rebuilding after fires and floods, and sometimes inexplicably moving houses just because they wanted to. I mean, actually MOVING the houses. How did they move houses this big, sometimes several blocks, in the beginning of the 20th century?

These two houses used to be one and were physically split in two by one of the owners. The one on the left holding up quite well. Not so the house on the right, which is dilapidated.

How would you like to have to climb all these stairs at the end of your day?

This one, just because I like it.

I like this solution to sharing the road.
Apparently, when cars came into vogue, the carriage drivers kicked up a fuss at having them on the road. So the city built a brick section down the middle of each road for the horses. The cars went left and right. Some sections are still visible.

Yes, we saw ALL 67 buildings.
And read every description in the pamphlet.

A Perfect Bowl

One of my perennial quests is the search for the perfect bowl of clam chowder. It has to be New England style, no tomatoes in MY clam chowder, thank you very much. This search can take the form of a restaurant visit or a pot of my own making.
I have fond memories of a bowl at the Riverhouse in Bend, silky smooth and lightly flavoured with sweet red bell peppers.
The Sea Hag in Depot Bay does a fine chowder, as does any Doogers on the Northwest coast.
I even had a bowl in New England itself once, in Boston, but it wasn't any better than any I have eaten on the West Coast.

This bowl was very delicious, almost smoky-tasting, and full of tender fresh clams.

We found it at the Silver Salmon, in Astoria, where we landed on Friday afternoon.
After a slightly slow drive through the woods and mountains with a gazillion other Independence Day revelers.
To our favourite bed-and-breakfast, The Rosebriar.
Which is showing its age, being a historic house and, I suspect, a little neglected of late. Our room smelled of sweaty socks, so I "borrowed" a candle from the lobby and we ran a fan most of the time. The first time we stayed there, about 20 years ago, the landlady assured us that they prided themselves on their immaculate cleanliness. She was right, it was the cleanest place I have ever stayed, before or since. About 10 years ago, we visited again, and it was, sadly, shabbier.

However, they do provide a breakfast to die for.
Fresh fruit and banana pancakes the first day.
Fruit again and strawberry french toast the second.

This is our last stay at the Rosebriar, as it has been bought by a big company for a rehab house of sorts.

More to come.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Holiday

Have I mentioned that Jeff and I are going to the beach for the long weekend?
Slightly excited, I am.
When I was a kid, summer holidays were a big deal. The English didn't travel much back then. I went to school with children who had never ventured out of their county, let alone been to the seaside. I think our family went every year. My Dad was an adventurous one.
THE SONG to sing as we wended our way very slowly along the English roads and motorways was "Summer Holiday," by Cliff Richards. Those of you who are not English probably have NO IDEA who Cliff is. But let me tell you, in England he is a big deal. Still performing today, he is the only artist, other than Elvis, to have a song on the UK singles hit chart in all of its decades, from the 1950's till now.
Plus, he's cute.

Still is, if you ask me.
And I know cute!
You might remember his U.S. hits, "We Don't Talk Any More" and "Devil Woman."

So, here is a trip down memory lane.
For me, at least.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I've been hearing grumbles of discontent.
"Where are the wedding photos?"
I don't know.
My plan was to take lots of photos, but somehow the day got away from me. Here are some that I stole from Jenny, who posted them on our family website.

Edwin, bravely carrying the bottom layer of wedding cake on his lap. Our church is closed for renovations so we had to drive for 30 minutes to Wilsonville.

The girls.

Tommy the ringbearer posing in front of finished cake.
Rather gorgeous, if I do say so myself.
Which one, you ask?
Why, both of them!

Daniel and Josh, looking handsome and slightly rumpled.

I believe this was the removing of the garter, although I seem to have missed the moment.

Jon and yours truly, horning in on the Father-Daughter dance.

I will post some of the professional photos when we get them.
As for me, I've eaten way too much wedding cake this week.
I feel sick.
And tired.
Chocolate cake with a dark ganache filling and whipped cream frosting.
Buttermilk cake with raspberry filling.

Jeff and I are off to the beach for the weekend on Friday morning.
I may sleep the whole time.