Saturday, July 4, 2020

Still here

My new summer love
I am still here. The EU will not allow Americans in so we wait. Meanwhile my sweet  French little village house sits empty.  I  too feel empty and sad. As Michael said to me. "France is your thing , Mom."
Without "my thing", I don't know how to navigate this new thing,  summer in Portland. We went to Hagg Lake last week. I even swam a little bit in the  chilly water.  We hiked with Maggy who stress panted round trip in the car.  Yesterday, we picked  blueberries  and raspberries at Smith Berry Farm where we washed hands before picking, wore masks, and stayed well away from others.  Maybe wine tasting next week?

The last time I celebrated July 4th at home might have been twenty years ago.  The neighborhood looks proudly patriotic in its red, white, and blue finery,  but I cannot feel proud of our country at this particular time.  I feel our country aching for lack of intelligent brave leadership. With freedom comes responsibility.

I do my best to be kind and compassionate, offer assistance when needed, and remember to be grateful for all the beauty and love that surround me here in Portland. And so, I will spend the summer  enjoying what life offers me. I will grieve "my thing" but I will love all the rest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Soul Collage

My Spring Collage
My Soul Collage Class encourages us to share our collages made at home via email with the other members of our group.  We make collages on 5x7 cards. We're  given different topics to explore ,for example spring, motherhood, the pandemic or whatever comes up for us.  Meeting in person allowed for great shared insights and meaningful communication. Many made collages in honor of Earth Day, but we seem to making very few collages at this stage of confinement.  I am struggling to finish a collage about de-confinement, but  am either lacking images or inspiration or both.   Also, what does de-confinement look like?
Today marks two week of daily blogging.  I am going to take a break and will be back when something blog worthy  happens. Thanks so much for reading. If you would like to write a comment, please send it to
Be well!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Best of Baking

Apple Turnovers
Raisin Scones
Bill's Challah
Artisan Bread
Since March 16, the official day we went into confinement at our house, baking continues to comfort us.  Pictured above are the creme de la creme, what we deemed  baking successes.  I am most proud of the apple turnovers which I made per my sister's request. Thank goodness for store bought puff pastry. Not all grocery stores carry puff pastry. We got ours  conveniently at Winco.  Today I could have used a good bake. My world seemed too quiet, and the gray weather did not help the mood.  I miss the liveliness of my PCC classes and the variety of folks at the college. Is this what retirement feels like?  I hope not. This is what confinement feels, and until it's over, I will keep on baking.

Sunday, May 24, 2020


A sweet treat
Bill and I could not resist getting a treat today. The sun shone, the air smelled sweet.  We felt rather warm after doing some socially appropriately distanced shopping. We passed Dairy Queen on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and thought, why not?  We took our place in the drive-thru line. it immediately came to a stand still. Fifteen minutes later, I was ready to call it quits and go home. Bill
insisted we tough it out as we had already made the commitment. He really is serious about his ice cream. Finally, the line started moving slowly.   We both  already knew what we wanted:  chocolate dipped vanilla cones. Normally my size choice would be small, but after waiting  in this interminable line, it merited an upgrade. Finally, we made it to the order window. After that, it took almost no time at all to get the cones.  I held both as Bill drove us to a shady parking lot. My cone found my mouth immediately. Cool, creamy, and sweet, it hit the spot.  It took half an hour to get the cone, but it was worth the wait.  Do yo have a favorite at Dairy Queen?

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Happy Anniversary

Drinking Cider in Paris
Bill and I celebrate 39 years of marriage today.  We did take out coffee at Starbucks and read our vows  to each other as we do every year.  I wrote the vows, long ago, and it struck me how relevant they are even now especially in confinement.  As in every long marriage, we've experienced ups and downs, but we have always stuck together. I think one of our strongest qualities is the ability to laugh at ourselves. We also do family meetings every Sunday. We were married in Menomonie, Wisconsin at the Mabel Tainter Theatre.  The theatre is registered on the US National Register of Historic Places. The theatre 's history can be found at  You can see from the pictures on the site what a gorgeous setting it makes for a wedding.  Back then, we were able to rent the entire theatre for $35.  Each guest we invited also participated in the wedding ceremony.  I loved the intimacy of our wedding. Hopefully, those marrying this season with limited participants will  also appreciate its value.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Beauty and burn out

Night Sky
Up  high on the terrace of our house in Monflanquin,  I watch  magnificent sunsets and sky.  "Good night, Monflanquin," I whisper.  No one  can hear or see me.  This  little ritual at the end of the day brings me comfort. In the morning, I open the  creaky old shutters of the bedroom to a charming village scene.  The day begins, and an inexplicable joy sets in.  At home here in Beaverton,  days begin and end with other words, other practices, but no breathtaking views. Yes, I am missing my little morsel of France, my refuge.
At the end of another week of confinement, I feel weary. No need to explain. You all understand. But I have thought up a term for it "confinement burn out".  Perhaps someone already coined it  No matter.  It suits.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A man and his dog

Bill and Maggy
Since I posted about my new beagle cup a few days, today I  am posting  about the Beagle. Maggy is Bill's best friend. She is not really a lap dog so it takes some doing to get her to stay quiet  in a chair.  Every morning, Bill walks Maggy to Starbucks where  he gets a cup of  dark roast. Here's how it works. First, order on mobile app. Then stand in front of Starbuck's door on a spot marked "wait here". The barista opens the door and asks for the customer's name. Bill is a regular so this last step is skipped. The order is placed on a little table while you stay back. The door  shuts, and you are free to pick up your order. There is even a tip jar. Maggy gets offered a puppacino ,whatever  that is.  Bill always  refuses politely. Then they walk to the park where they sit at a picnic table. Bill drinks his coffee, reads, or calls a family member. Maggy just sits patiently and barks selectively at passing dogs.  A little neighborhood girl, age three, who often goes to the park at the same time as Bill has become quite fond of Maggy. In fact, Bill lets her take the leash. She walks Maggy nearby.  For her, this is a BIG DEAL. She's got that look. Maggy is amazingly good with her. She resists giving back the leash.  I hope someday she will have a dog of her own to walk and love. It just seems right.