Friday, August 08, 2008

One Single Impression: Folly

The prompt this week is "folly". I usually write haiku of OSI but this week, it is a pantoum and more reflection of the Oregon Coast.

Low Tide, Agate Beach, OR

Sea garden, low tide
Ruffled kelp, the ulva taeniata* and others
Intermingle with bull kelp
Cormorants fly in, out, feeding their young

Ruffled kelp, the ulva taeniata* and others,
Slick, slippery carpet challenges trespassers
Cormorants fly in, out, feeding their young
Microscopic alien signs of existence

Slick, slippery carpet challenges trespassers
Walking at low tide, looking
Microscopic alien signs of existence
Sea stars, anemones, glistening tide pool jewels

Walking at low tide, looking
Quiet treasures reveled: Upside down chitons*
Sea stars, anemones, glistening tide pool jewels
Aware of human environmental follies?

Walking at low tide, looking
Intermingle with bull kelp
Aware of environmental follies?
Sea garden, low tide


Ulva taeniata: bright green sea algae with a ruffled edge

Chiton: a sea molluck, very primitive. Became aware of them through a college class and still have the empty shell of one, collected over 30 years ago.

Visit One Single Impression and read what follies others have written about.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It is August; I Wake Up Early/ Blogging Conference News

I abandoned the alarm clock in June at the end of school for the summer. Thing is that most days I awoke at 5 AM but did not get out until the 6-7 AM hour. My respite from the school year.
Now the calendar shows August, the alarm clock is back in my life. To build that muscle memory for the upcoming school year. To guarantee at least an hour of quiet writing time and wake up time. To resume those 6 AM workouts.

Me at last year's conference, Chicago

Last week I was panicky over the number of registrations coming in for the Second Annual Kidlit Blogging Conference. “Ye of such little faith!” I should have known that like me, July should be known as “National Everyone Go and Play Month”. I was not home for a full week, why would anyone else be home?
This week airlines are offering “fall fare travel sales” (not to the rock bottom fares I love though)

Bloggers want to see the following topics:
Beginning Blogging
Community blogging
Pod casting
Social networking to promote your blog
VLOGGING? Who will lead the session on Vlogging?

I feel a bit like the “little red hen” when I ask, “Who will help out?” Will you help?

Rumor has it that there will soon be some shirts and mugs for sale on Café Press in honor of the conference stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Last Hurrah of Summer: My Acts of Bravery for the Week

For the past couple of weeks I have participated in the "Be Brave" project started by Jessie. This weekend I found myself being brave on two accounts. First (and silly as it may sound) I left my laptop home when we went to the coast the past weekend. It has gone everywhere with me this summer, even the Odell Hall weekend, which to my surprise everyone was grateful it was there and we used it a lot! Ha! But this past weekend, it stayed home. And I lived although, I thought about many things I wanted to look up and I had to wait to post my weekly 7-kicks at 7 Imp until returning home.

Next, on Sunday morning, I awoke and headed down to the beach. The tide was almost all the way out and was a minus tide at that. I watched the birds on the cliff, realizing they were cormorants which reminded me of a favorite childhood book, Island of the Blue Dolphins. The camera only showed them as specks. So the only thing I could do was to move in closer. This meant climbing on the massive amounts of slimy slick bull kelp, rocky uneven surfaces.

Squishy, slick bull kelp

Anyone who knows me, know that my middle name is "grace" (NOT) and so I had to be particularly brave and cautious as I moved in closer to the cliff. And although, I still wished that I had my film camera with its telephoto lens, I did get a better photo of these marvelous birds and their young.

Okay, still not the best but there they are.

Finally, after photographing the numerous starfish and anemones, I headed back to the motel.

A staircase is hiding to walk up the cliff.

What have you done to be brave?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Do I Have To?": My Last Hurrah of Summer, Part I

Okay, I know that summer is NOT over. However, when August rolls around, I get that itch about getting back into school combined with a "Do I Have To..." attitude. So this past weekend was like the "last hurrah" for me. My husband and I made plans to go to the coast. Hunting agate and sea glass was part of the agenda. The weather was iffy.

Annie and me

But first, I visited with my blogging friend, Annie, up from California. We were to meet in her town as we were traveling home earlier in July. I, unfortunately, was in need of a "chuck-a-bucket" ( my granddaughter's word for her car sick container). Needless to say, we cancelled. Thankfully she was due to visit her son and daughter-in-law, so we were able to connect. I am not sure where the 2 hours went but they flew. Rumor is that Annie and her husband will retire here. Oh, yay!

Saturday morning my husband and I loaded up the car and within 90 minutes we were at the coast. Surprise! The weather was nothing like Portland! Sunny! Beautiful! Warm! Breezy!

At Road's End, Lincoln City, OR Walking the pooches

We walked for almost 90 minutes as the tide was out and very low. Rusty and Sophie were tuckered needless to say.

Agate Beach, Oregon

Okay so I learned something about agate and beach glass hunting. See that lovely sand? A mini sand dune (and btw, Annie thinks that sand here is softer, finer). Well, that sand acts like a blanket in the summer! Which means that all the lovely agates and/or beach glass are hiding underneath. I found a few specimens but I will need to wait until the winter storms which will scour out the sand, telling the agates, "It is your time to shine!" Humph!

We thought dinner would be at the Nye Beach Hotel Newport, unfortunately all that was there when we drove by was a vacant lot. Fire? Falling Down? Well, we had to find out as it was a place we frequented in the early days of our courtship. Apparently, the person who bought it, had to tear it down as it was structurally unfit. And it had such a great restaurant overlooking the beach. We found and had a fabulous meal over looking the ocean at Georgie's instead. Fresh halibut with pineapple salsa and fresh marion berry crisp. Yum!

We hit the beach after dinner but unfortunately the wind had picked up and our two little four legged pals suffered a bit from the blowing wind. So we returned to the Agate Beach Motel, a small place with great units and a private beach area.

We all fell into bed, asleep in minutes, except me wondering, "Do I really have to return to school?"

For more on the prompt, "Do I have to?" visit Sunday Scribblings. I will post "My Last Hurrah, Part II, in which I am brave soon.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Upon Reading a Book

Odell Hall Gathering 2008

I have been on kind of a reading drought until recently. I mentioned that I found a J.A. Jance mystery to read at the recent coast vacation. I brought along Middlesex, a book long on my “must read” list.

Then my daughter said, “Put this on the top of your priority list” and handed me Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. My daughter knows me. I love historical novels and this one did not disappoint. I want to time travel and I did. The drought ended. Each night I forced myself to put the book down or I would have met the dawn sky.

This story of ultimate friendship, a way to survive a society in which women were not highly regarded is incredible. We should all be blessed in our lives with a “laotong”, an old same or kindred spirit, or to have a group of women considered as our “sworn sisters”.

“She loved you as a laotong should for everything that you were and everything you were not.”
-Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See

This line toward the end of the story resonated. I just had returned home from the annual college friends reunion. One of my friends remarked that we have know each other so well and can be amused by our shortcomings. And that is correct. To have a feeling that we are each loved for who we are and who we are not. That is how I would describe this group of friends.

These nine women have known me for 38 years. They have been partied to my escapades in choosing a mate (actually two husbands), my unorganized organization techniques, the deaths of my parents, the death of a marriage, and how I became a stepmother.

I, in return, have witnessed their marriages, love challenges, births, medical challenges, the deaths of parents, the untimely death of a friend’s son. We have laughed and cried and talked about everything under the sun.

Our group began meeting regularly seven years ago as we all reached the halfway point to becoming a centarian. The places vary and not all attend each year. (This year we were only five due to a wedding, remembering the loss of a child, moving, and work). It is a yearly reunion that fills me with great joy.

It is like going back to that moment in time when we first met. Indeed our hearts feel like we are those teenagers once again although sometimes our bodies say otherwise.

These are my sworn sisters, and to them I am thankful for loving me for who I am.

sworn sisters gather
divergent lives cross yearly
happy faces here
laughs, hugs, adventures
carry us through time
One Single Impression is featuring haiku and other poetic forms on faces this week.

One Single Impression: Faces

Granddaughters, Beach 2008

mischievous cousins
captured moment, tender love
nonverbal plans made
back to antics soon

So many wonderful faces in the world. Visit One Single Impression.

In the Pink

Team "In the Pink"

This is my good friend Randy (center) and her husband Ron with teammate, Ellie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.

How did she deal with it besides all the medical treatments? A big dose of faith and walking. The first year I joined Randy in Vancouver, B.C. for a two day walk in which we walked almost 60 miles in mostly rain. It was one of the driest summers, that 2004 summer until THAT weekend in B.C.

Since then Ron has been her walking companion in Seattle and they have raised over $40,000 for breast cancer research. Talk about a wonderful husband! They celebrate 30 years on August 12.

I know that we have lots of opportunities for donating to this research but I am asking you to consider donating to Randy's team, In the Pink, this year as a celebration of her reaching 5 years in recovery.