Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Meet our new friend, Flat Stanley, come to Oregon from Mississippi for a visit.


Here's a close up photo of Flat Stanley. Christopher, a first grader in Mrs. Adams' Achievers at Steen's Creek Elementary in Florence, Mississippi, sent him to Portland, with a note dated Sept. 14, 2007:

Dear "Miss" Edna, Lynette and Duncan,

In school we read a book about a boy who got flattened by a bulletin board. His name is Stanley, now it is Flat Stanley. He wanted to go on a trip, so his family folded him up and mailed him to California.

I am mailing my Flat Stanley to you. Please take him somewhere and write me back telling me about his adventures. If you have pictures, postcards, or brochures, please send them back with him. I will share his adventures with my classmates and this will help my classmates and I learn more about other places in the world.

Thank you for helping me with this project. I wish I could fold myself up and visit you.

Love, Christopher

P. S. Please try to send Flat Stanley back to my school, Steen's Creek Elementary, by March 1.

Since Flat Stanley arrived in Portland, he has been here, there, and everywhere, sometimes with just me--Lynette. Sometime "Miss Edna" and Duncan go, too. My plan is for you to get to tour Portland and its surroundings along with Flat Stanley and us, through this blog and my other blog, Portland (OR) Daily Photo.

Before we got started on the tour, I decided that Flat Stanley needed a bit of help to remain upright. And I had the perfect solution, packed away somewhere in the closet. Miracle of miracles, I went to the exact box and found the blue scooter you will see at every stop on the tour.

Let's get started, with Stop #1.

From across the street this blue statue of a man standing in a big, lighted window caught my eye. I pointed it out to Flat Stanley who said, "Cool." So the two of us crossed the street to the Mark Woolley Gallery at 817 SW 2nd Avenue.

Cool was right! Not only was the statue blue, but it was James Brown! The mosaic ceramic statue, by Anthony Tovell, was at the gallery as part of the then current show: BE BLUE (SKY). The gallery's Web site says "Be Blue (Sky) is a multimedia group show intending to explore and celebrate the color BLUE. Not as in “BLUE” (depressed) but as in “BLUE SKY” (i.e. “He’s so ‘blue sky’: open, vibrant, true, contagiously enthusiastic)." That's cool, too.


Here's a photo of Flat Stanley standing in the window with "James Brown as Blue Buddha"--that's the name the artist gave the statue.


To get everyone off on the good foot, I've introduced Flat Stanley in the same way over at Portland (OR) Daily Photo. After this, though, things might/could/may be different at each blog. I'll let you know so that you won't miss a single bit of thing Flat Stanley sees or learns about while he's in Portland.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Early Morning Singing Song


How many times have you walked into where you work and been blinded for a second by light from an entirely unknown source? My first thought Oct. 26, just before 8 a.m., "Is that the sun?" Yep. I took these photos Oct. 26, just before 8 a.m. In the forefront you see the lit silhouettes of pampas grass growing on the rooftop garden. Above the brilliant reflection you see the moon which set behind the buildings moments after I took these photos.


To paraphrase "Good Morning, Starshine" from "Hair" --

Good morning sunshine.
Portland says hello.
You shine above us.
We shine below.

Good morning moonset.
You're saying so long,
Even though you're not gone yet.
Our early morning singing song.

I've put the same photos and text on Portland (OR) Daily Photo today, too--I like them too much not to send them to all of our particular buds!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Autumn in one of Portland's downtown parks


Portland is a city of parks, with quite a few right downtown. I catch the bus that takes me over the Hawthorne Bridge on the way to work every morning here, beside Lownsdale Square Park. Look closely at the tree trunk on the left. See the statue of the elk peaking out? You'll never believe where it is, in relation to Lownsdale Square and its twin to the south, Chapman Square. You can see two more photos I've posted of the elk and its surroundings at Portland (OR) Daily Photo, here and here. To see the photos, click on the first here, take a look, close the window and come on back to there so that you can click on the second here to see the October 27 post. Before you go over to Portland (OR) Daily Photo, why not read some information about this particular park, from Portland Online:

Lownsdale is one of two courthouse squares that comprise the Plaza Blocks which are bounded by Third and Fourth Avenues and Salmon and Madison Streets. The north square is named for Kentuckian Daniel H. Lownsdale, who settled in Portland in 1845 when there were fewer than 800 people living in the city. The south square is named for former Iowa territorial legislator and native Virginian William Williams Chapman (1808-1892) who arrived in Portland in 1850.

The Plaza was a lively place where orators held forth and citizens assembled. They are characterized in part by several large old elms and gingko trees. Chapman Square, originally designed for the exclusive use of women and children, features all female gingko trees. Lownsdale Square was to be the "gentlemen's gathering place." Today the Plaza Blocks are still a busy gathering place, although men and women can now safely coexist in either of them.

In the center of Lownsdale Square stands the Soldiers' Monument, Douglas Tilden’s monument to the Oregonians killed in the Spanish-American War. Dedicated on May 31, 1906, the tall granite obelisk is topped with a bronze replica of an infantryman of the Second Oregon U.S. Volunteer Infantry, part of the first large American fighting force ever sent overseas. At the base of this monument are two small cannons from Fort Sumter (misspelled on the plaque) brought here by Colonel Henry E. Dosch. Because the cannons were used by both Union and Confederate troops, it was Dosch's idea to face one north and one south.

Between the two Plaza Blocks, Main Street curves around a huge elk fountain given to the city by David P. Thompson. Thompson arrived in Portland driving sheep over the Oregon Trail. He served as Portland's mayor from 1879-1882. One day looked out of the office window in his New Market Building at the Skidmore Fountain and decided that he wanted to dedicate a fountain to the city as well. Thompson commissioned Roland Hinton Perry, whose work adorns the Library of Congress and the dome of the Pennsylvania state capitol, and in 1900, he presented the city with a bronze elk fountain to commemorate elk that once grazed nearby. Local architect H.G. Wright designed the stone base of eastern granite, which included drinking troughs for horses and dogs. The Exalted Order of Elks refused to dedicate it because they considered the statue "a monstrosity of art." Many have tried to have Thompson's elk removed because it can be considered a traffic obstacle, but the elk statue remains. In 1974, after a debate about disturbing the blocks in order to complement the then-new General Services Building, Thompson's elk and the Plaza Blocks were designated as Historic Landmarks.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Heading out for work, or making the block--it all depends on the direction of the turns.


To orient you, I took these photos after work on Thursday, but I'm writing about week-day mornings.

Out the front door and turn right, looking east on NW Everett. That's the Rose Plaza on the left and the Elizabeth on the right. I cross NW 22nd Avenue here 95 percent of the time each weekday morning and continue down Everett. A week ago I decided to no longer catch the 17 down at NW 21st and Everett--the woman driver is, well, a woman driver! She's got the bus bobbin' and weavin', swayin' and swervin'--if the bus were capable of making the right turn off Everett onto 3rd with only the wheels on one side touching the pavement, she'd have it doin' that! She's a nice woman but not the driver for me. So, I either turn right onto NW 21st and head over to Burnside to catch a 15 or a 20, or I walk one of several routes--all with the potential to catch a bus should I up and give out. That doesn't happen often lately because walking has upped my endurance.


The other 5% of the time, I turn right at the corner and walk up to Burnside where I turn left and ... you know, it's in the first paragraph. On the way I pass NW Davis which dead ends into NW 22nd, right at the Elephant Deli's parking lot.


Here's a huge old chestnut tree, on the corner of Davis and 22nd. I had no idea how much stuff falls out of chestnut trees. I now see "Under a spreading chestnut-tree, The village smithy stands" in an entirely different light--the guy's covered with spiky green balls and/or huge leaves and/or chestnuts still encased in the balls and/or revealed in their smooth, shiny brown skins.


About half way between Davis and Burnside, there's the Ringside Steakhouse parking lot and this stunning line up of trees. Please note the color-coordinated reddish/maroon truck. Serendipity, street-level accessory style.


Now you can see the corner where I turn left onto Burnside. Note the apartment building across the street. It's a pale olive green and orange along with the brick--our old management company manages it and used the same awful-colored paint on our old building. The cars on the right are parked beside the Goodwill Store's parking lot. How about those balconies on that sliver of a building--the gray strips? They look like fun, but I image it gets pretty noisy in those apartments--Burnside is a really, really busy street.

Let's pretend I didn't turn left and go to work, that I turned back around and walked back towards the apartment. I crossed over to NW 22nd Place, walking through the Elephant's parking lot.


The golden tree and the tablet are part of the Hazel Hall poetry garden, beside her family home which is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the background you can see another unique Northwest Hill apartment building--Casey's friend Isolde lives here. Next, I turned right and headed north onto NW 22nd Place, stopped in my tracks by the old blue VW and the red trees. Just look at the amount of leaves on the ground--that must have been some sight before the wind and the rain!



Now I've turned right one last time, back onto Everett. Hey, I just had a thought. I could do this in the mornings if I start out early enough and get a bit more exercise that way. Well, I'd have to make sure the Elephant parking lot lights shine into the poetry garden or else I might hit my shin on a tablet.

If you'd like to see one more photo of glorious fall foliage and matching street-level accessories, please go to my other blog, Portland (OR) Daily Photo.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some of the autumn beauty for y'all!

Here are some photos I've posted recently at Portland (OR) Daily Photo. I can't resist sharing them with y'all.


Recently the television weatherman said that Portland's weather is more like November than October, as much as ten degrees cooler than it ought to be. When I was a kid growing up, October meant cooler weather and the leaves changed color, so I think it's just right.

On our street you can see reds beginning to overtake greens in one of the trees in front of the Manhattan. I first saw the change in the tree when I looked out the bathroom window. Then I noticed the yellow and black car with the For Sale sign in the window, and continuing on up the sidewalk, I saw the red car and the other yellow car. Ah. A perfect fall foliage photo, with street-level accessories. I leaned out one of Mama's bedroom window to get the shot I wanted.

P.S. I took the close-up of the leaves resting on the sidewalk in the rain Thursday evening after shopping for groceries at our nearby Fred Meyer. I couldn't resist that vivid red.


A week ago Saturday, I walked to get the car so that Mama, Duncan and I could tour at leisure our neighborhood and the steep hill above it. We wanted to find more colorful autumn leaves to enjoy and to share with everyone.

I walked around to unlock the passenger door and couldn't believe this golden leaf balanced so perfectly on the door handle. Then I looked up to enjoy the leaves still on the tree.



These are of another tree across Everett, also in front of the Manhattan; I took these photos through one of our living room windows.




Merry Autumn Days

By Charles Dickens

‘Tis pleasant on a fine spring morn
To see the buds expand,.
‘Tis pleasant in the summer time
To see the fruitful land;
‘Tis pleasant on a winter’s night
To sit around the blaze,
But what are joys like these, my boys,
To merry autumn days!

We hail the merry Autumn days,
When leaves are turning red;
Because they’re far more beautiful
Than anyone has said,
We hail the merry harvest time,
The gayest of the year;
The time of rich and bounteous crops,
Rejoicing and good cheer.

In and around Portland, it's been raining, it's been blowing ... off and on for days. That happens this time of year, with welcome sun breaks now and then.

Still and all, beautiful sights await my camera and me. I couldn't believe that at the moment I decided to push up one of the windows in Mama's bedroom and take a few photos of the same tree across the street, there walked two women in perfectly colored raincoats--more street-level accessories for our autumn leaves. Oh, I didn't lean out to take the photo this time because I wanted to stay dry!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blazer Hoop-de-do! Blazers win, 111-102.

For the beginning of this series of photos I took at my first NBA game since 1989 when I went to Houston, Texas, and saw the Boston Celtics play the Houston Rockets, please look at on Oct. 11 and 12. Thanks!
The Blazer Stunt Team entertained at time outs and in between the different periods. I must admit that I held my breath when they tossed those smaller women up way high into the air.
I'm pretty sure that it was during the third quarter that the Stunt Team came back up into the stands and gave out free pizzas. I didn't try for one, but some little kids to my right got all excited when one of the guys handed one to them.
Twice when there was no action on the court, this inflated car floated around the arena. As far as I could tell, underneath it were two remote-control-operated round white rings with fan blades in their centers. When they changed directions--parallel or perpendicular to the bottom of the car--the car slowly changed directions. Both times it showed up, there were coupons in envelopes hanging from beneath the car. Every once in a while, a coupon detached and floated down into the out-stretched arms of an excited fan. I cannot remember exactly what was being given away, maybe a CD and/or a DVD from somewhere. If you look closely, you can see an envelope falling toward the crowd in the first photo. A man wearing a long-sleeved white shirt is pointing up towards it, with his right arm.

At halftime, a local dance group performed at center court. This young man came out last and danced. I'm guessing it's hip hop that he's doing. He was pretty good. That took quite a bit of courage, I think, to get out in front of possibly 13,000 people and dance!


According to the Trail Blazers' Web page, the Rose Garden Arena is in the process of being improved to make it much better for the fans. This scoreboard is a big part of that process; it got as much news coverage after this particular game--the opening pre-season game for the Blazers--as did the team's play. Here's what the Web site had to say about the scoreboard:
"Highlighting the improvements is a new video scoreboard at the Rose Garden that will be among the largest video scoreboards in the NBA. The new Mitsubishi screens measure 15’ x 22.5’ and are powered by a new state-of-the-art high-definition video control room."
A Blazer had made a three-point shot! Fireworks on the scoreboard! I love it.
Blaze the Trail Cat kept the crowd going at all times. He went up and down and all around more than once. I got these shots in the third quarter when he walked up, hitting a drum and stirring up the fans. He waved, he danced, he drummed, he put his paw to his head or held his head low when the Blazers missed a shot. At one point he was dancing in front of me, highly entertaining and funny, so I laughed out loud. He heard me and whipped around to give me a look--sort of like, What's up with you? Then he waved, like he was acknowledging that he knew he looked funny and that it was just fine with him that I laughed. I enjoyed the Blazers' mascot!







The Blazer Dancers changed outfits at least three times, danced and or waved red metallic pom-poms like cheerleaders, before the game, during time outs, half time, between periods. I have two thoughts about the dancers. Some, if not all, of those young ladies are going to need chiropractor visits at some point in their lives because they sling their heads and necks all over the place, in seemingly several different directions at once. Hair was flying! The other thought--thank goodness they all had a healthy size to them, no thin-as-a-rail, scary-looking women. I think that's a fantastic subliminal message they send to their numerous little girl fans. Congrats to the Blazer Dancers!


Something else I noticed about the game was the number of families in attendance--both parents and children, not just teens but toddlers, too--mixed in with all the rest of the fans. During the first half there was a sort of bowling contest on the court. A couple of nine-year-old boys threw basketballs as hard as the could across the court towards the bowling pins. The kid in front of the Blazers' bench won--I know not what.

Then at some point in the second half, there was a tricycle race--two little boys and this little girl peddled around the court, twice. Well, the little girl peddled, fast and furious. You can tell she had some speed going by looking at the letters she's riding over, at the bottom of the photo. She blew those little boys out of the arena--they couldn't get going the right direction or anything. Way to go, little girl!
Finally, here's a shot of the Blazers' bench. I took this because I wanted you to get a glimpse of Greg Oden, number one draft pick overall last June. He's wearing the dark sport coat at the lower left corner of the photo. Since he had that microfracture surgery, he's out all season. However, since he's just 19 and seems to savor every minute of being in Portland, I'm betting when Oden gets to play starting next October, all Portland Trail Blazer fans will be thrilled to see him on the court.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cristina and Leland's Place: A Timeline

Here's my photo-timeline of the progress on Cristina and Leland's new place, which is attached to her mother and step-father's home. I think it's wonderful that Delia and Gabriel want the two of them to be near; it's a sign of a family filled with love and caring. This timeline just hits a few points; it's not at all representative of the hard work the four of them, plus other crew members--both family and professional--put in over the last year. They're hoping to get the carpet, linoleum and cabinets installed soon. Then they'll move in. Hooray for them!

October, 2006

Now all this great big hole in the ground has become the home area which is directly behind the garage you see in the photo below.

May, 2007

When Kay and Milton drove up from Mississippi to visit, naturally one of the places we wanted to show them was Cristina and Leland's work-in-progress. Here's Cristina and Kay, standing where the driveway is today.

May, 2007

We went inside to see how the living area was progressing. Cristina's explaining the design for the ceiling. Behind Milton and Kay is the French door that opens directly into the back yard. The French door to the left opens towards the patio that you can see in the first photo.

May, 2007

From the backyard I got a pretty good shot of Mt. Hood. The fence you can barely see at the bottom of the photo is across the road that passes by the back of the place. The close up of Mt. Hood is enhanced a bit by iPhoto. Remember, this is the last week in May. Look at that snow! Now, the first week in October, it's snowing up there again, around 10,000 foot mark I think I heard on the weather report.

May, 2007

July, 2007

Leland posed for me at the back door. He's excited at the possibility of soon being settled in their home, as is his sweetheart.

July, 2007

This is the view from the garage, through the middle of the addition. The master bedroom and bathroom, plus another bathroom are on the right. Two other bedrooms are on the left.

July, 2007

Here's what I'm calling the great room. Isn't this bronze color fantastic? I can't wait to see how Cristina and Leland decorate it. I also like the silvery gray ceiling which gently sparkles.

July, 2007

Here's a close-up of the texture of the walls. Pretty neat!

July, 2007

July, 2007

The garage is huge, as you can tell by the width of this concrete pad.

August, 2007

I think these ceiling fans look fantastic. Most of the time up here in Portland all you need is a fan and/or an open window. This photo is in one of the bedrooms.

August, 2007

On this particular visit, Mama and I found these lovely dahlias at a roadside stand in Damascus. Here they're decorating Gabriel's saw which had been well-used throughout the months. I can't remember what the little wooden tool is for, but I think it got used lots, too.

August, 2007

The intrepid crew: Gabriel, Delia, Cristina, Leland. They paused in their work to pose for a photo. At this particular time, the exterior of the entire house, old and new, was in the process of getting two coats of paint.

That's all for now. After the move, I'll get more photos to share with y'all.