New Year Musings

We made it.  We have made it.  Will we make it?  And what should we make of it anyway?

News Flash:  Baby, it’s cold outside.  Mother Nature served up a serious case of frost this morning for our New Year’s day pleasure.  Beau’s walk was short.  

Our Portland trip has been an interesting one.  After stopping for a night at the Covert’s home in Sacramento and then the Zell’s home in Ashland, Oregon…we arrived at a not-even-1/3 furnished SHIP (skinning house in Portland).  The mother SHIP?  Our car was crammed with rugs, pictures, and various other essentials.  A nutcracker was transported for the Xmas season.  And Oaxacan artifacts to spruce the place up.  But even with all that, the place still echos and yearns for more “stuff”.  

The house four doors down that was under construction is now on the market for a cool $1million.  It is twice as big as the SHIP.  Lovely kitchen.  Way too much space for moi.  But lovely kitchen (to be read with longing).

We have squirrels that love to run along the top of our back fence thereby inciting poor doggie.  He barks to no avail.  Skiddish squirrels, they are not.  However, over the course of our visit, we think Beau may be dawning on the reality of the situation…and seems the last day or two not to mind as much.  This may also be the case since I cleverly bought at a picture of a black dog looking an orange squirrel in a tree.  Seemed like the right motif, if you will.   Oops.  I am deluded.  Watch this video.




Speaking of “if you will”…Dick Cheney was always saying that in his low growl.  Well, don’t wait to see the movie Vice.  We did that last night and it was very good.  Entertaining, educational, and extremely well acted.  Plus there are doses of humor to keep the audience from grabbing their pitchforks and rushing out of the theater to the streets to proclaim their anger at nasty government officials.  Just sayin.

And then there was the movie about Free Solo, the mountain climbing event of the entire history of the world.  Alex Honnold, climbed El Capitan without benefit of ropes, hooks, ladders, hot air balloons, or a Swiss army knife.  A human gecko.  It is a movie that should not be missed.  A stunning achievement that left all other mountain climbers the world over to muse, “Is that guy crazy, or what?”  And the thing is, he did it.  And it was filmed.  And the movie serves as reminder that my life is really boring.  Heck, I’m to afraid to ride a bike in traffic.  There is that.

Yesterday we met up with the guy that developed my blog site and saved my old blogs from the internets those many years ago.  We had never met in person…he found me and I found him on a user forum for iWeb or Sandbox…both are now in the dustbin of digital history.  Joseph is a great guy and we had a great time getting to finally meet.  I highly recommend his work.  He was worth his weight in gold to me.  He’s my guy!

So, back to the great Northwest.  Portland is a smallish city.  And it is beautiful, mostly.  The bridges that span the rivers Columbia and Willamette are a joy to look at and to drive over.  One doesn’t allow cars.  That one is for me!!  I could ride that one on a bike.  The downtown streets are bustling this time of year.  We rode the Max (train) into the center of the city to shop and go to a movie.  Each trip was delightful.  And cold.  So, one time we dropped into a coffee shop that must be about 2500 square feet…very big.  The only place avail to sit was three high chairs, one serving as a table.  In the course of sipping and eating (there were scones and other delights tucked away in the glassed cabinet were you order your coffee) I managed to knock Rayman’s cup and saucer to the floor and it managed to break into about a zillion pieces.  At that pivotal moment, literally everyone in the shop looked at us so I did what any person would do, I raised both arms to indicate a touchdown had been scored.  What was I thinking?  It was just like a natural reaction which in hindsight makes me wonder if I shouldn’t google, “Psychiatric services in Portland”.  Then, we both started to gather up shards of cup when a kind woman came over with the proper tools and cleaned up the debris.  

At this point, I’d like to backtrack and tell everyone about my cousin, Susie.  She lives here, about a 15 minute walk from the SHIP.  The day we arrived, she had stocked the refrigeration with beef stew and the freezer with ice cream bars and frozen batter for chocolate chip cookies.  There was also milk for cereal in the morning and a baggie of cereal.  How cool was that?  And she has since then invited us over for dinner.  But, she doesn’t like the way we eat.  We often skip lunch and this results in us being ravenous…a look she doesn’t appreciate.  So the day that I dropped in to watch the BBC production of Murder on the Orient Express with her, I scoured her cupboards foraging for food.  Cereal sounded good.  I noticed as I entered the backdoor, she had cookies in the cupboard.  She was outside taking down decorations.  When she arrived, I believe I was munching a cookie.  “How did you find those cookies?”, she implored.  I told her.  She was amazed.  I was grateful because they were really good…Tate’s is the brand for all you chocolate chip fans.  This occasion was referenced yesterday when she exclaimed to the Rayman that he eats like a bird and is half starving all the time.  My prediction is that we will hear more of this 2019.   Rayman does eat like a bird…if not’s careful, he will be renamed Birdman.  

So, my job has been shopper-in-chief.  A chair is arriving tomorrow and I’m bummed.  It went on sale yesterday so it is cheaper now that when I hit send.  A floor lamp is winding it’s way here from god knows where.  A wedge table is in transit.  I can’t remember which website I used to order it so unless they send me an email with a tracking number, I will remain in the dark as to it’s ETA.  We scored an old Moroccan screen which we repurposed as a headboard in the guest room…found it in an antique store.  Our latest buy is a mirror-map that we found in a kitchen store while shopping for a lamp.  This kitchen store is unique.  It has kitchen stuff and a second floor has furniture and various items of decor.  It seems we are feeling worldly.  I have purccused two globes and now the mirror-map…a theme might be emerging.  All this shopping is vexing and nerve racking.  Starting from scratch is difficult unless you are a real home decorator.  Me, I’m an accidental decorator.  Many of my belonging in Morro Bay were hand-me-downs.  It helped a lot to have them.  


Finally, the reason we came to the tundra of the north was for the holidays and it was so worth it.  Babies, little girls, cousins, cousin’s kids, Ryan, and he squeeze, Tamara.  It has been a blast.  Downsides include not one cookie baked (kitchen still needs stuff I plan to bring from home in April), the forgotten xmas tree that sits in a garbage bag in our garage in Morro Bay (oops), no golf.  The upsides far out-weigh those silly little things.  Holiday parties, movies, family time, family time, family time.  Ryan gave his dad a frame with 5 pictures of them inside.  Very cool…and he gave me a DNA kit so I can discover if I hale from the Isles, Germany or a pack of wolves.  The anticipation is killing me.

So…here we go into the new year.  The sun is now out but it’s only 36 degrees at 11:36 a.m.  We will be here until we’re not (may leave the 8th or 9th or longer)….those packages need to arrive.  More movies are slated, more restaurants will be sampled, a drive to McMinneville for Spanish food at La Rambla, perhaps an afternoon of wine tasting (pinot anyone?), and so on and so forth.

Happy New Year to you and yours from me and mine.

Love, The Traveling Princess

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