Saturday, August 24, 2013


I decided to go to the 50 year anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, the highlight of which was Martin Luther King's "I have a dream..." speech.  It was a great experience, and I went as a solo traveler.  I planned to meet the group from All Soul's Church Unitarian, but never found them.  I found lots of warm and interesting people, including Unitarians from New York, Maryland, and Denver.

What made it especially interesting for me was that I found I could move closer and closer to the front because it was just me.  The picture above was my first spot, and one below is a little closer.  I also think I used my telephoto.

It was a very relaxed crowd, full of love and hope.  I sat with some local residents from the NAACP for awhile, using a poster to sit on that they gave me and I will keep.  The message is "NAACP: WE MARCH TO END RACIAL PROFILING."

 Eventually, I moved up to the very front.  Well, the front for the public.  There were press and dignitaries on a platform up on the steps.  This is at the west end of the reflecting pool.  I couldn't see the speakers, but could hear them, and had to watch on a jumbotron.  Lots of great inspirational speeches--I especially liked Nancy Pelosi and the Rev. Al Sharpton.   Eric Holder was also a big hit.  You can guess the theme of the day.  Gratitude for changes in the last 50 years, but we still have a lot of work to do to make this a land of "freedom and justice for all."    A lot of speakers spoke about concerns relating to voter's rights and the Supreme Court decision affecting the Voter's Rights Act.  Too much to summarize here.  This is how it looked on the jumbotron across the reflection pool.

All in all, it was a great inspiration.  I am glad I went.  Huge crowds...tens of thounsands.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

On my way to Paris

I am just about ready to go to Paris!  I "tricked out" my iPad for the trip....with a keyboard in the case....a gadget to upload camera photos, and a European adapted charger.   Plus---apps installed for translating and practicing French.   Oh, and a few movies and books in French.   I didn't forget a  Rick Steves travel book is loaded into the iPad, too!   Hope I have everything I need!  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Opening Day for Baseball--Nationals Win!!!!

It was a rare treat for me to share the opening day of the Nationals baseball season with my grandson, Griffin, a true Nationals fan.  This is a picture of the team after the 2-0 win over Miami.   

I also used the time to "brush up" on sketching from the tv screen....which used to be a favorite way to get free models---but some of them move a lot.  I ended up with this, and the face is sort of generic.  Interesting that the pose was easier to "compose" from several guys than the face was, but here it is.  I wish I had photographed the sketch with no paint.  I think it was actually a little more interesting.  I started to do the crowd in the background, but ran out of time.  Picture a sea of mostly red, with a little white....that is the effect.

And now...for true followers of the blog, pictures from the Easter egg hunt yesterday!  Both girls and boys won!  All winners....because of a tie.  I was tempted to post only "my" team, but the guys look great as winners, too.  We all had a lot of fun, joined by friend Melanie and her family.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Weekend-East Coast

I flew into DC on Friday night to get ready for a great Easter weekend at St Michael'..s Maryland with my cousin Roy and his family..Oh, and of course Louisa, Peter, Griffin and Sophia, often referred to as "The Smiths."  Our first stop on Saturday morning was the pastry shop where we picked out a delicious and beautiful assortment of macaroons.  It was so hard to choose that we ended up with what they call a "monumental" assortment. Truly. They were all beautiful and arranged in a special box--with a drawing of Washington monuments on the top. The shop is "The Sweet Lobby" and they won the Cupcake wars award on the Food channel.  We were now ready to set off to St Michaels:

Well, this is a picture of the girls....who were charged with selection of the treats.  The guys (Griffin and Peter) had to make a run to pick up some forgotten items and then picked us up and we were on the way.

When we arrived in St Michael's, we were amazed by the sunny and warm weather.  It was almost balmy.

We had a great afternoon snacking and visiting and just hanging out together.  Badminton and chatting were enough for us, topped off by a wonderful meal of meatloaf and all the fixin's We had a nice walk to the harbor before more chatting and then off to bed.  Peter and I intermittently worked on a jigsaw puzzle, but he did most of it.

Easter morning was busy.  First, the children (Griffin, Sophia, Alex and Ryan) had a fun hunt for their baskets from the Easter Bunny.  They had clues to follow on post it notes.  Each child had a different color and different clues.  What fun, and then the reward was a special basket for each one of them.  We then had a huge Easter breakfast.    

We went to mass at the local church, where Kathy and her husband were married, and where Roy and Sandi have attended for many years.  It was meaningful to be there with them.  

We came home, relaxed a bit and had a family picture:

We were joined by Kathy's friend Melinda and her family and had the major egg hunt, which is a really important Easter event.  More on that later, as I am waiting for the pictures.  Suffice it to say it is "boys versus girls" and we had a everyone was a winner.

We then had a great feast (as if we hadn't eaten enough already) of turkey, ham, etc. etc. etc...including homemade mac and cheese and the best turkey stuffing I have ever had.  We left late Sunday afternoon...full of food, family love, and good feelings.  What a great Easter!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Silver Falls State Park - Hiking Trip

Yesterday, I took a seven-mile hike in Silver Falls State Park.  It is especially amazing in Winter because there is so much water feeding the falls.  The main hike is the Trail of Ten Falls/Canyon Trail.  As expected there are ten falls....actually, there are more at this time of year, including some with the trail actually going under the Falls.  Very much fun.  The picture above shows part of the group going under one.  Another fun thing was 187 steps in one area, with not much of a break in between several flights. I wish I'd taken a picture.  I went to their website to find one, and it isn't there.   I guess they don't want to scare you off!   We went up them--some us faster than others.

I went with the Chemeketans, who hike this trail often.  There were fourteen in the group.  We hiked the Canyon Trail, stopped at the Lodge for lunch where there was a roaring fire to warm up by.  Then we returned to the trailhead parking lot by a shorter and more even trail--the Rim Trail. 

More about the Canyon Trail is here:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Salem in January - Geese Migration

I'm currently in Salem, which is in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. One big difference from Portland is the open skies.  Today, I was out kind of exploring the area and saw hundreds of geese flying overhead.  I tried to take a picture, but I only had my cell phone and it didn't fully capture it.  It was amazing.

Here's a link to a you tube of geese flying that I think is particularly beautiful:

Some of the lessons learned from geese:

1. Trade leadership so that one goose doesn't always have to be the leader..those behind actually have it easier because of the air currents.  It really is harder for the leader.

2.  Communicate constantly.  It can be a little noisy, but it works.  You need to know where everyone is and if there are any problems.

3.  Take a break before you are tired and rest in areas where you can stay together

4.  Stay together!

5.  Know your destination and be patient in getting there.

I'm sure there are more.  I'd appreciate feedback from those who have thought about this and have some more ideas about lessons from geese.

PS:  I have had some trouble on the preview getting the "youtube" to run, so here is the link

Hope it works.   It's less than 2 minutes and very beautiful.  These geese are headed north and the ones I saw were headed south, but I don't think that makes a huge difference.