Friday, February 25, 2011


I was hoping for one more snowfall - because I love snow and to make use of my Explorer with studded tires one more time.  I got my wish yesterday.  It was beautiful!  I'm glad I got right out and took photos, because a lot had melted before the end of the day.  Here is our house:

This is Yvette Lane, from the end by our house:

This is Yvette Lane, looking from the mailboxes at the other end:

Here are the mailboxes:

Creek that runs next to Yvette Lane:

I felt lucky to be home, not working, until that night.  And lucky not to have any trouble driving to work.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Gary and Kelly Show

Kelly and Dana are our closest neighbors, and Kelly is Gary's best friend.  I am calling this post "The Gary and Kelly Show" because they are always up to something and it is often entertaining.  They love sitting out in Gary's workshop, sharing confidences, talking politics, planning their next project.  Gary starts up a fire in the woodstove and they are comfortable.  There is a refrigerator and stereo there also.  They help each other when needed, and watch each other's pets if one is travelling.  They enjoy using Gary's shop for woodworking projects.

Kelly has deeply felt ideas about his impact on the planet.  He planted 1100 Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine trees on 4 acres of his property.  They will grow to a 20" diameter, but won't be ready for harvest for 30 years.  In the meantime he feels good about making a difference in his carbon footprint.

Gary and Kelly believe in organic, sustainable gardening.  They have a project going to breed red wiggler worms for composting, expecting to have enough to sell. The amount and quality of produce they grow is impressive.  My mother says she hasn't had tomatoes like Gary's since she was in Oklahoma.  It helps that Gary hosts two horses on his property, so they have the horse manure to add to the soil.

They have many stories.  Like the time they were sitting on the deck, and they saw a tornado touch down and lift all the grass off a neighbor's field.  Or once when Gary's tractor was stuck, Kelly got on his with a rope around his waist thinking he could pull it out. Instead he almost got cut in half.

Another time Gary was spotting Kelly up on a ladder as he was helping get Gary's tomato cages down from an upper shelf in the barn.  The ladder shifted on the pea gravel, started tilting sidways, and Kelly started to fall, sideways.  Gary put out his arms, caught him like a baby, and they both went down.  Luckily the ground wasn't too hard, so no serious injuries.  But Kelly said he got a massive blood blister from the overhang of his tummy getting squeezed on his belt by Gary's rescue.  They laugh now about it. 

Here they are, collaborating in the kitchen.  They say they have probably cooked 500 meals together.

Kelly says it is good to see a photo of the two of them to decide, for sure, which one of them is taller.

And here is a photo of Kelly and Dana:

Living out in the country makes it extra important to be on good terms with neighbors.  And we're so lucky to have Kelly and Dana.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Best Weekend Ever

I know this blog is about my life in Corvallis.  But I recently had the most wonderful weekend in Portland and Beaverton, with both of my sons in town.  Jacob was here for a week and a half from Peru.  I hadn't seen him in a year, and I won't see him for another year, so it was a special time.  We started off the weekend with dinner at Sushi Land.  I love the immediate gratification of seeing and taking the small plates.  It is so easy.

Then we went to see "The Imaginary Invalid" at Portland Center Stage, meeting my friend Gererdene there.  Here I am in the alpaca shawl that Jacob brought for me.

Here I am with my best theatre buddy Gererdene:

And here are Nick and Jacob:

We laughed all through the play.

The next night Nick had a gig, so Jacob went with Gererdene and me to "Dissocia" by Third Rail Rep.  That play was pretty amazing in terms of staging, and left us with lots to think about afterwards.  I was happy that Nick got to see it another night.

On Sunday evening we invited anyone who wanted to see Jacob to come over.  We collaborated on food to serve. It needed to be a buffet which could last, as people were coming at different times.  Jacob came up with a wonderful Peruvian dish.  It had layers of mashed golden potatoes, chicken, and avocado.  Topped with slices of hard boiled eggs.  We had red cabbage with a peanut vinaigrette, Gary's home made applesauce, and a green bean/corn/tomato/chipotle pepper dish I came up with.  I made squash pies. 

The whole idea of this party was a little wacky - some family, some friends, people coming at all different times, and I asked Nick if he would play his Joanna Newsom pieces that he adapted for piano and his voice for anyone interested, later in the party.  My temporary housemate, Donnell was there.  Here he is talking with Gary.

And a new temporary housemate, Stevie, had just arrived from Boston, so she was also part of the party.  She is very cool.  She designs neurofeedback machines for people to help with various conditions.

It happened to be SuperBowl Sunday, so we needed some cheeseheads - Jeff and Amy:

And other relatives and good friends:  Here are Matt and Amelia with Jacob:

Alex, Liza, and Rod:

Gererdene and Pam:

There WAS interest in Nick's piano music.  He performed a wonderful Joanna Newsom piece and also an original composition.  Amy who has known Jacob and Nick since birth (literally!) joked that she taught Nick everything he knows.  Liza also does some piano/singing entertaining, so she had that in common.

It felt like a JUST WONDERFUL evening to me.  Guests left, which left Jacob, Nick, Stevie, Donnell and me still in the house.  I love having a full house.  And seeing these photos reminds me I really am attached to my Beaverton house.  I hope I can continue to have my cake and eat it too, with life in the country in Corvallis and trips back to my other home.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grace Lutheran Church

I was hoping to find a 'church home' as well as a place to teach Body Recall in Corvallis.  I noticed a float in the Christmas parade that had some really rocking music, from Grace Lutheran Church so I made a mental note to check it out.  I saw this church while out driving one day, and on impulse stopped in.  They have a married pastor couple, Pastor Wendell and Pastor Netsie.  Pastor Wendell was in, and saw me right away, which made me feel good.  He was encouraging to me about the possibility of teaching Body Recall there.  It has taken awhile, but looks like it will happen in March.  I saw that they are a "Reconciling in Christ" congregation, welcoming gay and lesbian folks, which gave me a good feeling.  Plus I just like the idea of anything with the word "Grace" in the title.

I finally went to services this morning.  In my Methodist and Presbyterian backgrounds, we do not get down on our knees.  Here you have the option.  I like the idea of being able to get on my knees.  If one is having very serious thoughts about something, being on your knees gives that appropriate feeling of seriousness.

I am used to communion where we first take the bread as we receive it, and wait for the juice to drink together.  Here, you are handed the wafer which you dip into your choice of juice or wine.  Wine!  That definitely has a more serious flavor than juice that I am used to.  But I ate my wafer before dipping, not knowing about the dipping, so Pastor Netsie gave me another and discretely explained.

Their choir was small - just 8 women and 3 men today.  But they are very good - the had the sound of a larger choir.  I also stayed for the contemporary service which had a worship band of 7 and the music was enjoyable.  They have a Steinway grand piano, and a man played a wonderful Beethoven piece.  After the service I told him how much I enjoyed it.  He told me that he was the one who raised funds for the piano, and they did it in just 4 months.  That was impressive.

Several people were friendly to me.  I am interested in many of the church activities, so I think this is going to work out.  Plant a peace tree at an Islamic Center.  Chinese School Lantern Festival.  Holden Village Retreat.  Mission trips to Kenya and Mexico.  How about a field trip to the lambing barns at OSU?  Sign me up!