Mar 24, 2010

Upgrading...

I love my husband. First he sends me off and a lovely birthday getaway with my Ya-Ya's and then he surprises me with a new camera! That's right. I am now the proud owner of a new Canon Powershot SX20 IS.



I took it to Ashland with me on the afore mentioned trip to play with it. I love some of the shots I got with it like these for example:



but I think I am going to need to study the manual and a few of my favorite photography websites (like http://www.strobist.com/ ) to learn how to work the macro thing all over again. I tried for the life of me to get one clear shot of a pussy willow for my little guy back home since they've become a new fascination for him......ummm ....yeah. We'll, here's what I ended up with:




So...it's back to the drawing board for me. I'll be spending the next few weeks with my nose in the manual and shooting shot after shot after blooming shot until I get it right.
I'll let you all know how it goes!

Mar 9, 2010

Much Ado about ......me

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday with some of my best friends. The four of us drove about 3 hours south to the little college town of Ashland, Oregon for a girlfriend getaway.

Ashland is one of our favorite places to visit because it is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This year is the Festival's 75th anniversary and they have several wonderful plays on the performance list like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Pride and Prejudice as well as several Shakespearean masterpieces like The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Twelfth Night and more. You can find all the information you need about the festival on their website at http://www.osfashland.org/ . We had tickets to Pride and Prejudice, which is my all-ti,e favorite love story! I am an Austen addict through and through. (The play was incredibly well done, by the way! Kudos to all of the Ashland actors.)


Going to Ashland, for us, has developed somewhat of a routine to it (though we've only been there 2 or 3 times now). We do our best to stay in the Plaza Inn & Suites hotel for several reasons. First, they are conveniently located within walking distance of downtown and the theaters. Parking spaces in Ashland can be rare and difficult to come by when the Festival is on and the town is so beautiful that we don't mind walking wherever we go at all. Secondly, they have beautiful rooms and a lovely garden where I, for one, could happily spend the entire day relaxing.


And lastly, the Plaza is famous for their late night snacks of warm cookies, icy cold milk and pbj's.



The best thing in the world after seeing a play is to get into pj's and sit in the garden room eating a toasted pbj with ice-cold milk and a warm chocolate chip cookie (or snickerdoodle, or oatmeal raisin cookie if that's your wish) and discussing what a wonderful job the actors did and how amazing the set was or the beauty of the theater. Ahhh....we love it.

The plays are not the only reason we go, however. Another staple of Ashland is Lithia Park. This gorgeous 93 acre park is located right next to the Elizabethan Theater and demands a mandatory visit each time we go. Beautiful in every season, a walk in Lithia Park is something I have often daydreamed about :)



Being avid letterboxers, my friend Jen and I often trek off on the hunt of either hunting or planting a new one. On this particular trip, we were saddened to discover that one of our previously planted letterboxes has gone missing. Our spirits were raised though, when we retrieved a box I had placed with my sister several years ago. She and I had written the clues to the box, but I had never actually posted them. To my knowledge, the box was waiting all these years untouched for me to tell people how to find it. Jen and I were surprised to find that was not the case at all! In fact, SEVERAL people had discovered the box and left stories and signatures in the logbook for us! What an incredible treat!!

Another highlight of Ashland is the wide variety in restaurant choices. Ashland boasts over 40 restaurants so it's always a challenge determining where we will eat. One of our favorite places to fill our bellies is Munchies. We simply cannot leave Ashland without a visit to Munchies and often we will take one of their enormous slices of carrot cake home to our hubbies as a thank you for letting us getaway to such a wonderful place.

Before our play, we chose to eat at Sesame Asian Kitchen. The atmosphere was really nice. A great place to enjoy good food and lengthy conversation. I loved the look of the place right away.

The food was really fresh and good too.

On Sunday, after browsing the downtown shops, we stopped in at Pangea to grab a bite to eat. Being a soup lover, I chose their Lentil Dahl soup and an "Eat Your Heart Out" pannini with chicken, artichoke heart, spinach and feta cheese filling. Mmmmm.... Yum-O.



If it were up to me alone, this would be how I spend every birthday from here to eternity. I loved everything about the weekend. Good friends, good food, good fellowship all around. I can't wait until the next trip to Ashland!

Mar 2, 2010

To tickle your funny bone...

I just received an email from my bestie with some funny little stories and I instantly thought I just HAD to share them with you all. A little something to pick up your day. Here you go:


Who says Troopers have no sense of humor?!

In most northern tier states there is a police policy of checking on any stalled vehicle when temperatures are in the single digits or below. About 3:00 a.m. one very cold morning, a Montana State Trooper responded to a call that there was a car off the shoulder of the road outside Great Falls.

He located the car, stuck in deep snow and with the engine running. Pulling in behind the car with his emergency lights flashing, the trooper walked to the driver’s door, to find an older man passed out behind the wheel with a nearly empty vodka bottle on the seat beside him.

The driver came awake when the trooper tapped on the window. Seeing the rotating lights in his rearview mirror, and the trooper standing next to his car, the man panicked. He jerked the gearshift into ‘drive’ and hit the gas. The car’s speedometer was showing 20-30-40 and then 50 MPH, but the car was still stuck in the snow, wheels spinning.

Trooper Nixon, having a sense of humor, began running in place next to the speeding (but stationary) car. The driver was totally freaked, thinking the trooper was actually keeping up with him. This went on for about 30 seconds, then the trooper yelled, “PULLOVER!” The man nodded, turned his wheel and stopped the engine.

The man from North Dakota was arrested and is probably still shaking his head over the state trooper in Montana who could run 50 miles per hour.

The power of a badge...

DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas , and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs." The rancher says, "Okay, but do not go in that field over there," as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me." Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the rancher. "See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish. On any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand? "

The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis bull. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified.

The rancher throws down his tools,runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs.....

"Your badge.. Show him your BADGE! "

A Tuesday treasury.....

Good Morning everyone! Happy Tuesday.

I thought I would share with you a little treat I woke up to this morning. Nancy over at NancysBagsEtc on Etsy has included my lovely "My Heart" earrings



in her Reds and Swirls treasury!



Thank you, Nancy! Your treasury is gorgeous.

Please check out her shop full of beautiful bags. I'm sure you will each find something you love.

(Sorry about the cropped picture of the treasury. I can't seem, for the life of me, to figure out how to get a capture a complete screen shot of any treasury and it is so frustrating. If anyone would like to share this knowledge with me I would be extremely grateful!)

Well, I hope you all enjoy your Tuesday. I'm going to sit back and soak up the bright rays of sunshine pouring in my studio window. I think spring is just beginning to burst forth here in rainy Oregon and I am more than ready for it. My body is starving for sunshine. I say bring on Spring.....and on into glorious Summer!

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