Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mount St. Helens, from Mama's bedroom window

I just took this with my new camera and my 70-300 zoom. I had to rest the camera body on the slightly rounded back of one of our dining/kitchenette chairs. Otherwise, I got a blurry photo. You remember the utility pole I used before in those other photos of this, to sort of draw your eye to see the barely visible difference in color? There it is again. I wish I could figure out how many blocks away it is from our apartment. We are on the southwestern side of the mountain, so I don't have a view of the mile-wide horseshoe-shaped crater left by the 1980 eruption.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Duncan, the Darling Dachshund

This is the first time that the pictures I added got posted in the same exact order! What's up with that?

Anyway, I wanted you to see our little boy looking good with his quilt and his new coat. I think he looks quite dapper in the black and white houndstooth check. He likes how it feels and fits; Mama likes the Velcro beneath his chin and tummy.

Mama Turns 81, Jan. 23, 2007

Naturally these are out of chronological order. This is the birthday crowd, out front at Sckavone's where we went to eat. Y'all know Lamont and Lindsay, on the left, with Leland in the front (Cristina had the flu and couldn't come--so sad for us all.) Next there's Mama, of course. Behind her is Marsha, one of the nice, hard-working women I have met on my job. I just hate that I didn't pay any better attention to the fact that part of her face is concealed--you can't see her warm smile. That's just not professional of me at all. Sorry, Marsha. That's Danielle beside Mama--we met Danielle and her mom Pat at our old apartment on Caruthers.

Here's how we ended up at Sckavone's. Marsha and I walked a few blocks north on Grand at lunch one day, a few weeks ago, to the Architectural Heritage Center. It's a project of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation (it says in their newsletter), as part of their mission of "educating people to preserve our building heritage." We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit of doors from homes and businesses around the city, "Artful Entries," as well as the Sargent & Co. Hardware Exhibit . Inside the newsletter that I picked up I found a small piece about Restaurant Night to Support the AHC, at Sckavone's Restaurant at 41st and Division. Marsha grew up around there and used to go to that building after school. It used to be the Ever-Ready Drugstore, between 1934 and 1975, and was operated by pharmacist Nick Sckavone. I thought it sounded like a fun night out for Mama's birthday, so I asked Marsha if she wanted to go, which of course she did! I especially like that 50% of the evening's proceeds were earmarked for the AHC. I got the kids interested in going and asked Danielle to join us in dining on what Sckavone's present operator, Jon Finley (Nick's grandson), calls classic American comfort food. It was all delicious. We had a great time, laughing, talking and eataing.

Wow! I hope I look this good at 81!

Howard and Vanessa sent Mama a surprise birthday gift from Nonnie Waller's in Ohio--this beautiful nosegay of flowers and the best pound cake I've eaten in years. You can see the cake beneath the flowers. Y'all should google Nonnie Waller's and read all about it. I believe them when they say on their Web site that it's a traditional Southern pound cake--scrumptious and made from scratch. We've been enjoying a single slice for dessert every night since Tuesday! Don't want to eat it too fast, want to savor it.

Leland came over to see us the Saturday before Mama's birthday; before long, he sat down to help her with her jigsaw puzzle. She's not fussing at him; she's saying, "She's gonna take our picture." Yep. I've got a blog to maintain.

Mama Turns 81, Jan. 23, 2007

Don't Mama and Duncan look cute as all get out! That's the neat lap desk that Lamont and Lindsay got for her at the Discovery Channel Store. It has that little gooseneck lamp that makes enough light for her to work crossword puzzles; it has a heating element that she can turn on/off to warm her thighs. And Duncan still fits beside her in the lounge chair!

In the brown frame, you have Leland and Cristina. Beside them, folded neatly, is the lovely grape-colored sweater that they gave Mama for her birthday. Next to that is the nosegay of flowers that came with the scrumptious pound cake--from Howard and Vanessa. Danielle gave her the tulips; they hadn't been in water very long in this picture. That's Lamont and Leland in the black frame. Ain't I one lucky woman?

What a brilliant smile from the birthday gal!

On the west end of the Burnside Bridge stands this glorious neon sign, Made in Oregon, with what used to be the White Stag emblem--as I understand it. It comes on in sections, ending up with the letters, outlined in green, filled with white lights that seem to circle within the letters' outlines. Makes me wonder--how did they do that?

No, I didn't walk over the bridge in the dark. Mama and I were coming over it on our way home from Sckavone's, and I pulled over out of traffic and snapped a few. Hooray. My first clear neon sign in Portland. Hooray!