Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Good Riddance February

Remember Summer? The warm air, blue skies, and endless days on the road? Me either.

If it wasn't leap year, today would be March.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Canadians and Gravy

I'm dedicating this blog post to my favorite Canadian. I never name names but you know who you are. 

Thanks to my Canadian friend, I spent this afternoon thinking about the gravy and french fries of my youth. Canadians have a name for this dish, Poutine.   I can live without the cheese curd our Canadian friends add to the dish but gimme steaming hot brown gravy on french fries and I'll stand on my head for you.

I can picture the diner where we hung out when I was a teenager, growing up in Haines, Alaska. We were not rich people but I usually made enough money at babysitting jobs and the theater to sit at a table and enjoy fries with gravy once or twice a week with my friends after school. There's something about the gravy soaking into the fries that makes them better than just about anything in the world. 

Along with a plate of fries & gravy, I loved a big icy cold Coca Cola. You need that when you're consuming a week's worth of salt on one plate.   Salt and sugar, I love you.

As much as I love fries & gravy, I love my Americanized Canadian friend. Whenever she takes a trip to her hometown, she always brings back Canadian chocolates and toffee for me. I forget she is Canadian until she emails me and tells me the only thing she wants to eat after a root canal is a bowl of gravy.  I get her.

So, sitting at my desk today, I was remembering all the way back to high school as if it were yesterday. I don't know how it is possible that memories lay dormant for so long but most of mine are welcomed when they show up. 

Thank you, my lovely Canadian/American friend, for jogging my noggin' regarding a precious time in my life that seems not so long ago. Have some french fries, eh?

love, susan

Monday, February 27, 2012


I love playing "beat the clock".  Just had this conversation with the husband last night.  I drive him crazy.

He doesn't quite understand why I can't be ready for anything 10 minutes sooner than what I am. Can anybody relate to this?

Getting out the door to work in the morning is not all that much fun for either of us. He asked me why I can't just be ready earlier.

How do I explain it?

I'm just hanging on to the last few minutes of my time. When I walk out the door to go to work, my time belongs to somebody else.

I woke up feeling like my animals this morning. The alarm sounded and I slapped it out of its misery and slept another hour. It's 5:30 a.m. and I gotta start the countdown to departure time. My plan to try his plan (do everything 10 minutes earlier) is not working this morning.  I'll think about that mañana.

Here I go!!!!

love, susan  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flowers and Ice

I shot this photo last July when we were near Detroit Lake, Oregon. I always love seeing the opposites in things. I laughed when I saw the "ice" sign behind the flowers, trying to imagine how such a beautiful, warm place could get cold enough for ice. I also knew this picture would come in handy for a blog post one day.

I have little clumps of deep green stems poking up in front of my house. When I mention it to my friends they ask me if I have crocus.  Truth is, I'm not sure.  I can't remember what flowers I have.  I only know that seeing life spring up this time of year makes me very happy and I always send a little "thank you" up in the air to whoever planted those perennial flowers. I'll bet they have no idea how much their thoughtfulness is appreciated.  As the temps are not all that warm at night, I think it's a miracle that the yearlies poke their heads up already.

I know it's not officially spring yet ... but it's real  close! 

love, susan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weather You Like It or Not

According to the weather station out where I work, the temp is supposed to rise to 65 degrees today. It's hard to imagine because we woke up to snow falling on Monday.

There is a saying around the Tri-Cities:  If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change. 

It's no secret that my mood is often weather-dependent. I was downright giddy yesterday when I read about the rise in temperature.  But then, there was bad news following it.
Seems there is a cold front moving in right behind the warm weather the following day.

I'll think about that tomorrow.

Today?  I'm gonna bask in the windy, warm breeze.  Spring is right around the corner.

love, susan

Friday, February 17, 2012

Georgia on My Mind

A list of ten things on my mind this week:
  • My dad's 80th birthday is very soon
  • Random road trip this weekend
  • Cheryl's birthday dinner tonight
  • Dancing tomorrow night
  • Getting Amanda's birthday card in the mail
  • My friend who just moved to Georgia
  • A friend who made a life-changing decision about her health
  • Planning a dinner party
  • Thought about V-day and how much I loved making and sending cards to loved ones
  • Great friendships, old and new
What did you think about this week?

love, susan

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Past

I found a cool writer's blog "Mama's Losin' It" that gives me some writing prompts. Today's:  Open your picture folders...find a random "February" picture from a past year and tell a story.


Two years ago this week, we were in sunny Honolulu. We waited until the day of our departure to visit the zoo. Our flight left late that evening so we left what bags we had with the hotel and walked to the zoo. 
I had been to the Honolulu zoo when I was 14 to visit my aunt and uncle while they were stationed there. I remember sunburning and seeing a cockroach for the very first time in my life. I'm pretty sure it was then that I first visited that zoo. It was very rustic and sad. They have made a lot of improvements. However, I can never bear to visit the elephants at any zoo. I always go away feeling deeply saddened, so I stayed away from that exhibit.

Last year we were in sunny Phoenix but I don't have access to those photos right now. If I did, you'd be seeing a beautiful saguaro cactus instead of a giraffe's head!

Where have you been in Februaries past? 

love, susan

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Bucket List in Reverse

10 Things I Don't Want to Do Before I Die:
  • Bungee jump
  • Hold a snake
  • Go on a hunger strike
  • Eat whale blubber
  • Visit Afghanistan
  • Live in Oklahoma City
  • Have a garden
  • Get a tattoo
  • Learn to golf
  • Work 60 hours a week

What's on your list?

love, susan

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day 2012

"Love isn't just those words we said, it's something that we do." ~ Clint Black

Why can't every day be Valentine's Day?
 ~ Susan Arthur

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Love Taking Pictures (February Love Series)

I forgot all about this photo in my gazillion files. Gene recently moved most of my collection from my old, virus infected computer to a temporary home in a great little laptop our friend Bob gave us. I shot this pic one day while our grandson was visiting for a week. I had never done a panoramic with people in it before. Here's how you do it:

Put your people in the first shot. Move your camera to the right and have your people move and make sure they do a different pose, and then do it again if you are snapping 3 frames to "stitch" together. My camera automatically stitches the photos together and I'm sure it works that way with most digital cameras.
I liked the way this one turned out and I'm glad I found it. It gives me ideas for future panos!

What's your favorite photo technique?

love, susan

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Love the Sun (February Love Series)

"To love and be loved is to feel 
the sun from both sides." ~ David Viscott

Sunset on Waikiki Beach ~ 2010

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Love Mornings (February Love Series)

Sunrise in Seattle, Washington
Are you crazy? That's the response I get when I tell people I get up at 3:30 a.m.  People! You are missing the very best part of the day when you sleep til 7.

I was in Seattle last weekend and Saturday morning I slept in til about 5:30 a.m., waking up with a caffeine headache. I looked around for some coffee and was delighted to find some Starbuck singles on the counter. I'd have to wonder about my Seattle friend if she didn't have Starbucks. By the time I heated up the water and took care of other business, I peeked outside her patio window and a form of giddiness washed over me when I saw the beginning of a new day in Seattle. Sunshine in Seattle is an anomaly and I felt lucky to be there for it. I sat in the quietness of my friend's apartment with my camera and watched as sunrise made it's rare debut. I was not disappointed.  I never am first thing in the morning.

I searched my blog for the word "morning" and it came up so many times I can't list all my posts but my favorite post is "Who's To Blame"

What's your favorite part of the day and why?

love, susan

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Love Blogging (February Love Series)

I started this blog a year and a half ago after I took a hiatus from my Facebook account. I was so distracted by FB that I spent hours and hours of time on it and each time I shut my computer down I felt empty and disconnected. Deactivating left me time to start writing some things that had been floating around in my head for a long time.

Writing this blog helps make room for new thoughts and ideas and it allows me to connect those old stories with the new ones. After writing everyday for most of the first year, I found I could link something I had written before into my new post. Connect the dots, so to speak.

Besides blogging, I love snapping photos. I was in Seattle recently and took this photo at the fish market. I was looking a little closer at this pic and noticed this fishmonger is holding a Starbucks coffee cup. I also noticed the signs touting their fish is 100% Sustainable. I wonder what that means.

In the back of my mind, I'm thinking someday I'll make a book of my blog posts and leave it behind for my son. I'm not sure if he reads me now but maybe he will want to read these one day. I don't write for that purpose. I write because I feel better when I do. And, I love feeling better.

love, susan 

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Love Signs (February Love Series)

This post is self-explanatory. All signs I shot while out and about. 
There are signs everywhere you look!

When I drank wine, I became a dumb blonde for sure!

If I was branded, I'd want this one!
It was ironic that Gene had his tye-dye shirt on when we drove past this sign in Reedsport!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Love Containers (February Love Series)

I have an obsession with containers.  Sometimes I have to de-contain my home and it's hard to let go of some of the treasures I've hung on to, hoping I'd have an occasion to use them. 

I know I'm not the only one who loves containers. There is a whole store devoted to them called The Container Store. I've never been to one.

My love of containers doesn't stop with just the normal shoebox kind. I love those fancy bags you get when you shop at places like Macy's or Starbucks. I love anything that comes in a sturdy box.  A couple of months ago, I found a box sitting on a ledge near the grocery store that once had held an iPhone. (The grocery store is right next to AT&T). I picked it up to see what was inside. The person apparently only needed the phone because they left the earbuds and manual inside.  Score! While I love my new iPod earphones very much, the box was just as much of a gift from the universe for me. Apple does not put their product in any cheap old box. No. It's a sturdy, handsome white container. When you hold this box, you know you've got something of value.

Our grandaughter, Ava, loves containers too. She collects jewelry boxes and purses. When we go to garage sales and thrift stores, her eyes light up when she finds a nice handbag or container. I get her!

I love recycle bags, too.  What do you love?

love, susan

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Love Parades (February Love Series)

Our friend, Rosemary on the white horse!
There is nothing like a small-town parade. I don't care where you live ... if your town has a parade you should go see it.

When I was growing up, we attended quite a few parades. My favorite will always be 4th of July parades for no other reason than I just really like the weather in July! Don't be raining on my parades.

Last summer we were passing through Sheridan, Oregon and made an unplanned stop to see my peeps who live there.  It just so happened to be the same day as the Phil Sheridan Days Parade. Everybody that came by the house to say hello to us kept saying, "you're staying for the parade, right?" Well, we hadn't planned on it but couldn't say no. My 2nd cousin invited us up to her place for a pre-parade bbq and then we walked a half a block with our lawn chairs to watch the parade go by.  Who knew I'd see members from my other side of the family at her house? It was an impromptu family reunion with free entertainment.  Nice.

I always get goosebumps when I see certain favorite things. There is nothing that does it more for me than a marching band! If you've ever played an instrument, you must have an appreciation for how hard it is to play and walk at the same time, much less march for what must seem like miles.  Yeah, think about that the next time you see a marching band.

The horses. I can't forget the gigantic horses. Last summer I watched my friend Rosemary  (pictured here) help train a friend's horse to get it ready to ride in the parade. They put the horses through all kinds of tests so when they ride they don't get spooked by little kids running around, loud noises, sirens, etc. Horses are sensitive. 

I also love just about everything else in the parade except during election year. I mean really. Don't the politicians have any pride at all?  Apparently not. This will be one of those years. I'd love to see some of my not so favorite politicians poop scooping behind the horses. Wouldn't that be great!

I rode in a parade once when we lived in Yuma, Arizona. I was working for hospice and we had a float called "hospice angels". I wore angel wings and gave out candy. I felt like a giddy child and couldn't stop smiling and waving "Miss America style" as we passed blocks and blocks of snowbirds who came out to see the parade. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

What's your favorite parade? Have you ever been in a parade?  Come on ... let me hear about it!

love, susan 

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...