Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Trot - I DID IT - That Turkey is Cooked, Over, Fineto

I guess I was hoping that running in that 32 degree chill would create some sort of thrill.

NOT at this Turkey Trot. Well, I did get a few chills and I saw a few spills.

They call it a “trot” but I think they got the lettering a little mixed up. It should have been called a tort…ure. Some of those hills were sooooo steep I felt like I should have been rappelling off of them.

This little 4 mile run was more like a masochistic maneuver mile(s) or at least not what I was expecting.

I can run 7.5 miles, so 4 miles should have been a “piece of cake” but it was more like a piece of humble pie that I was eating one agonizing footfall after another, on that icy path. Perfect for Thanksgiving…right? Maybe not for the two guys I saw slip and sliding next to me. One of them even went down. Some of us footfesting freaks even slowed our pace to make sure he was okay. He said he was so we ran on. Call us crazy—‘cuz me and my aching feet sure do.

Well, it did help me burn about 600 calories and help keep from packing more pounds on those already overburdened thighs of mine, as I ate another piece of pie—this time it was peach :) Plus, we (my husband, sister and I) helped raise some money for a few good causes...the Oregon Food Bank and the Oregon Zoo.

For any runners out there, check out this elevation map of the "trot"- just in case you want to run with me next year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Review Monday - Harry Potter - No Spoilers

I love going to see holiday films with the fam. Every year on Thanksgiving we've gone to see a "family" show. This year we had to go a little early because Kara had surgery and wouldn't be able to go with us on Thanksgiving.

Anyway, we went to see HP. There were lots of good "moments" with superior graphics and even a few thrills and chills but...

Overall, I'd say it was slow and disappointing. It appeared that the producers were stretching the book out just in order to make two movies out of the story. It went on-and-on, when I turned to my husband and said, "these 'kids' are wizards and witches with amazing abilities, so why don't they simply transport themselves to another place when they need to get out of a jam now?"

The question goes unanswered except to say that without conflict there is NO story.

But, my biggest disappointment was the ending. There was no resolution to anything in this portion of the story. It was apparently meant to be a prequeal to the real story, or the second part of the book-which I hope will be so amazing it will make up for the money I feel I wasted on this show.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. If you see or have seen the show, let me know what you think.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Kay Snow Writing Contest - Open to Submissions

Willamette Writer's founder, Kay Snow, is honored by this contest which was designed to help writers reach professional goals.

This annual writing contest awards one first prize of $300, one second place prize of $150, and a third place prize of $50 per winning entry in each of the six categories; fiction, nonfiction, juvenile, poetry, student writer and screenwriting. Student writers are awarded $50 for first place in three grade divisions, $20 for second place, and $10 for third place.

Find out more by reading the Kay Snow Contest Guidelines. A printer-friendly registration form link is available at the end of the guidelines. The deadline for the next contest is April 23rd, 2011.

Good Luck to all who enter!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Weekend!

This is a cute story to start the holiday with a forgiving heart. The turkey pardon has been a tradition since the Kennedy era.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scan Fest

Mark your Calendar! December 4 & 5 2010
Celebrate the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions of a Scandinavian Christmas

26th Annual ScanFair
Saturday, December 4, 2010 ~ 10 am to 5 pm
ScanFair Dance, December 4 ~ 7:00 pm to 10 pm
This is the fifth year of the ScanFair Dance, sponsored by SHF and The Nordly's dance group.The dance begins at 7:00 with lessons for beginning dancers and ends at 11 p.m. Admission is free with proof of admission to ScanFair, or by donation.

Sunday, December 5 ~ 10 am to 4 pm

$6 adults, $5 seniors and students, children under 12 are free

Portland State University
Smith Memorial Center Ballroom, 3rd Floor
1825 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Decorating Tip

If you're going to be decorating for the holidays and hanging lights around your house, you might want to consider buying some new low-energy lights. These led lights will stand up to more wind, weather and water--which are all abundant here in Portland, Oregon. Plus, they use less energy to light. It's an "energy-smart" decorating idea.

If you have any more ideas that will help save energy, post them in the "comments" section.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Sometimes we, adults, forget how much fun it is to cut, color and construct little paper pieces of art.

Well, I had an idea when I wanted to send a few thank-you cards this past weekend. I decided to make some old school cards to "Give Thanks". Here's how I did it--a little construction paper, wiggly eyes, feathers and glue. It was like being a kid again and a lot of feathery-fun.

Do you remember making hand-print turkeys?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grocery List for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

If you're going shopping this weekend for your Thanksgiving dinner, and who isn't, you can adapt this list for your grocery list.

Simply print it out, add or delete, and WAH-LAH EZ-Smeazy shopping.

Hope you all have a Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Embellishing for the Holidays-On a Budget

Who doesn't love a little glitz and glam at the holidays? The only problem is: I don't want to pay for it. But that doesn't mean I can't decorate my home with all the fancy frills and thrills I want. I just add my own dazzle to my duds simply by sewing or hot gluing some left over ribbon, glitter or beads to things.

I can't afford to run out and buy new furniture or expensive accessories so, when the holidays roll around, I buy a few new towels, bath mats, etc. to help liven up the homefront. But instead of blowing the budget on a few decorator items, I buy the simple, less expensive brands then I bring them home and embellish them with my own baubles and beads.

Take a peek at these towels to see how you can do it too.

First I measure out some ribbon:

Then I sew it where I want it.

And Wah-Lah! Decorator accessories at bargain prices.
You can use your imagination and be as bold or simple as you want. Add your own touches to reflect your own personality.

This is a simple way to stretch your decorating budget and go beyond beautiful without breaking the bank.

Check out some more craftilicious ideas here.

Mother Goose or Mary Goose

Lars and I were staying in Boston and wanted to go for an early morning run. So we ran down along the the Charles River and when we came back to our hotel, we stopped at the Granary Cemetery across the street. Paul Revere is buried here and a lot of Benjamin Franklin's family. There is also a monument to Franklin. But, I wanted to see Mother's Goose's grave.

Mother Goose is best known for her children's nursery rhymes, like Bye Baby Bunting, Baa Baa Blacksheep, Little Bo Peep, Little Boy Blue, and the list goes on and on.
Mother Goose or Mary Goose and three of her children are buried here. Some say this isn't the original Mother Goose as her nursery rhymes were known in France before this time period. But at least this is the Mother Goose who brought all these beautiful and funtastic rhymes to America.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Around the World--um--country in 8X days

Wouldn't you love to go around the world in 80 days? I never made it that far.

Well, at least I got to go across the country for 8 days. Just yesterday morning I was sitting on the balcony at my hotel in 85 degree weather...but nothing lasts forever.

Today it's time to start heading back to reality...and the rainy weather of Portland, Oregon--I keep reminding myself, "at least we get the four seasons."

I thought I'd share a few of my photos from my time in Boston, New England and Florida.

I'm not one to sit around for long, even if it is beside a pool, in a beautiful hotel like the Lago Mar or even on the beach. So, while my husband was busy at a business conference, I went on a ride on a water taxi. It was a lot of fun. The tour guides pointed out where Sonny and Cher used to live and Lucy Arnez and Ricky Ricardo. Also, the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the major Nascar owner. So, I got to see how the rich and famous (and some not-so-famous) people live, in their extravagant mansions and super-sized yachts.

The driver pointed out this particular point on the river - it's a little slice of paradise and where Jimmy Buffet used to hang out and sing Cheese Burgers in Paradise

Then I went back to my room where I sat and waited for my husband to get back. Don't feel too sorry for me because here's the view I got to enjoy while I waited, from my hotel room balcony...

When the hard-working hubby got back from the conference, we wandered down by the pool and started a game--a rather large game--of chess
Then we walked a few feet further to the ocean. Lars went for a swim in the warm water off the Florida coast. The water here, in Oregon, is not so warm. Our ocean water is the runoff from Alaska--bone chilling.

But, before we ever made it to Florida, we stopped in Boston to visit some friends. And we all drove up the New England coastline to the Hamptons. Not quite as warm as Fort Lauderdale, but we still enjoyed it.

This was the beautiful view of Boston we got to enjoy for the few nights we were in Good 'Ole Bean Town.

Plus, the Nine-Zero was so nice to us, they even had sparkling water and chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for us in our room.

And what trip to New England would be complete without some great seafood? You can't leave without trying a bowl of clam chowder or a Maine Lobster
Or...a little history?

I hope you enjoyed the pictorial memory-journal of my vacation. If you did, you might want to pop back by tomorrow for more about Mother Goose and her history in Boston.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Shegetz literally means little rascal. If you want to read more, check it out here.


Usually I do a word for Wednesday but today is Tuesday and my word is Shegetz.

Hint: A friend told me this is what he was in class. And that he got in trouble for it more than once.

Guess what it means. Put your answer in the comments section then come back around 3:00 to see if you were right or wrong.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Miami Book Fair

The Miami Book Fair is happening now. And, I was thinking how much fun it would be to travel the world and visit all the different book fairs.

Anyway, lately, whenever I turn on the t.v., which admittedly isn't very often, I see George Bush talking about his new book or see Sarah Palin's Alaska advertisements for her new reality show. It seems like a Republican mediafest. And, I'm not complaining but I think we need to have "fair and balanced" news coverage. Maybe we need a few Democrats to write some tell-all books or have Arnold and Maria have a reality show... I'm just saying.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share a few of my ideas. How 'bout you? Any ideas for new reality shows featuring political people?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boston Book Fair

This weekend, November 12th through the 14th, is the 34th annual Boston Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center. So, if you're looking for a rare old book, you might want to check this out.

This could be just the place to pick up a few presents for the book lover(s) in your life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Earth-Friendly Friday - THE WHEELS ON THE BUS

One way we can all cut down on cars on the road, gas emissions, pollution, and noise is to take mass transit. The Maryland Department of Transportation says that a full bus eliminates 60 cars on the road. Plus, you can read, knit or listen to music on the journey.

I haven't always taken the bus but I'm trying to make more of a commitment to living sustainable and this is one easy way to do it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Orycon is Coming up

Don't forget Friday, Saturday and Sunday is Orycon. If you like Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy, you might want to check out this link.

There will be plenty of guest speakers to inspire all of us wannabe writers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Answer to Word for Wednesday

Word: Nosh

It means to snack or eat between meals.

If you want to read more about it, check it out here.

Word for Wednesday - a game for Writers

Word: Nosh

Take a guess, what do you think it means?

Put your guess in the comments section and then come around 3:00 p.m. to see if you were "write" or wrong. ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Movie Review Monday - Let the Right One In and Date Night

My son gave me the book to read. I read about 30-50 pages and got bored with it. I still haven't finished it. But then my son brought home the movie and said his friends said it was "Great!" So, I thought, I'll give it another chance. My husband and I popped some popcorn and sat down to watch it on Saturday night. He liked the idea of watching a Scandinavian film and I am a die-hard fanpire, so what the heck.

But "Great" is giving it way too much credit-at least in my opinion. It was slow and uneventful for a horror film. It was labeled a thriller - but I was less than thrilled. The acting may have been okay but definitely not stellar. All-in-all this would not be one I'd recommend.

However, my husband and I then popped in Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It was super cute and made me laugh out loud.

I have so been there with this couple, when the kids were growing up. Only my husband and I never did "Date Night(s)". I wish we would have known about these special occasions for parents. But back then we were just struggling to make ends meet and after seeing this film, maybe that was a good thing. I'm sure we would have taken the Triplehorns' reservation too, if we'd had the chance and then where would we be today? Not driving a lamborghini - I'm sure, we would never have been so lucky.

But this is one funtastic film that I would recommend to any young couple with kids - no, wait, I'd recommend this one to anyone :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween Happenings

I love Halloween - there's only one holiday I go more GAGA for-yep, Christmas.

Check out Mackenzie's Lady Gaga impersonation and Luke's always just Joker...ing around

I'm a little more tame in my costuming..

We dressed up and went to a 3-D, glow-in-the-dark putt-putt golf course. It was a lot of fun but I don't know if the 3-D glasses helped or hurt my game.

If you want to know more about Putt-Putt in Portland, check out the Glowing Greens link but be WARNED, it makes a lot of noise (this is a sound enhanced site), click here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Interview with a Vampire - Book Talk

I know it's an old book that was even made into a movie in 1994 but I didn't like the movie. I know, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, what's not to like? Right? Well, for me, it was just too slow for a vampire story.

But the book is an entirely different thing. Interview with a Vampire written in 1973 by Anne Rice is a well-written story.

I picked it up at a bookstore in Seattle, when I was waiting for my husband to get out of a meeting. And, after a few pages, I couldn't put it down.

I was curious what so many people found interesting, especially since I didn't enjoy the movie. Well, I found out why it was such a phenomena. It is an interesting story.

So, if you're a fanpire like me, and you haven't already read this novel, you might want to pick it up and give it another chance.

If you do read the story, let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Four Days In - And I'm Hopelessly BEHIND


I don't want to get caught with my pants down on November 30th. I've got a goal to reach. And it's an ugly fact to face.

NaNoWriMo has only just begun and I'm already falling hopelessly behind. My word count today is only 1455, not bad for a couple days of writing butt, as you can see, I'm having trouble staying on-target.

This 1500-or so--words per day thing isn't as easy as you might think. What was I thinking...? I can't keep up. Between working all day, coming home, cleaning, cooking...butt wait...

I can't give up.

Not yet. I'm no quitter.

Besides the weekend is coming. I can always catch up then. It's the hare, after all, that actually wins the race...write...?

And, I have some time-off coming up. I can use those days to reach my word count. All I have to do is re-double my efforts.

I'm hoping, with that little extra work, I'll be able to get back on track. The only problem is this race is steeper than any 5 or 10K I've ever run.

In truth, maybe I knew what I was in for. "FOF"--That's probably the real reason I didn't register (officially) for this challenge: Fear Of Failure. I still want to see what I can do.

All I need to remember are those famous Nike words, "Just Do It".

After all, I want to be a writer: A Word Warrior.

I've just got to get my BIC ("Butt In Chair") and get busy.

I can do better - I'll just use the weekend to catch-up, at least a little.

Anyone else out there trying to keep up...?

Throw me a couple tidbits of advice. Any hints, tips or tricks you're using to stay on task, to run this course and win this race?

And, if you have any helpful words, put them in the comments section, if you can spare 'em. After all, I can use all the extra words you're willing to throw my way. Maybe I can even think of a way to work them into my daily word-count ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Season of Giving is Upon Us

The holidays are always a happy time in our home. The "kids" are home from college and we all gather around to eat some festive foods and celebrate together. But there are a lot of families that won't be having such a wonderful holiday season this year.

Unemployment levels are high this year and many families are struggling just to keep food on the table.

One thing we can all do is think about giving to others this year. And it doesn't have to be money. We can give the gift of volunteering.

Choose your favorite charity and give them a call. You might like to get involved with a local Thanksgiving Day food drive, or deliver food to homebound seniors. You could also donate a couple of hours one day to a Toy-n-Joy drive. There are plenty of ideas to choose from.

If you can't donate time, what about going through your closets and donating old clothing?

You could also donate some canned food to a local homeless shelter or even think about donating some blood to your local blood bank.

If you have some ideas, please include them in the "comments" section. I'd love to see a few more volunteer ideas to choose from.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo - One Day In

So what is NaNoWriMo? It's National Novel Writing Month. This event/activity/group brings together writers from all over the world with a common goal: to sit down and write a book in one month.

The writers plan to write a 50,000 word book from start to finish in one month's time. Beginning on November 1st and ending on the last day of the month, writers everywhere will have written novels.

It's a fantastic goal that moves at a feverish pace. So check out the pages of Nanowrimo.org and see what it's all about. Maybe you can finish a book this month too. Just get writing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Movie Review Monday - The Social Network

I hated this movie. I know it's a strong word to use and one that Mom said we shouldn't throw around lightly because "Swords might kill the body but words can kill the spirit". So, believe me, when I say I hated The Social Network, it's true.

This was a true downer movie for me. Okay, so it's a story about a lot of super bright young men who ended up becoming Accidental Billionaires but, like another old adage Mom used to use, "Money is the Root of All Evil". At least this movie proved that point and brought it home with the finesse of a sledge hammer.

I walked out of the theater feeling depressed and disappointed with humanity. Not a good way to start a holiday weekend--or, on the other hand, maybe it was the perfect horror movie to see on Halloween.

The only redeeming factor I could glean from this film was the fact that it was brought to the Silver (or maybe that's "the digital") screen. After all, I'm sure Mr. Zuckerberg has the money to have held the film up and maybe to even close it down, if he'd wanted. So perhaps he and Eduardo Saverin have rebuilt bridges. I, for one, certainly hope so. Because like Mom used to say, "Things are just things" and, "in the end, relationships are all that really matter". So, in the spirit of Facebook and my favorite movie (It's a Wonderful Life), I'd like to think that the richest man in the graveyard will be the one who died with the most friends.