Sunday, June 28, 2009

$5 Jeans

On June 12th, Leslie had a doctor’s appointment in Salem so I drove. We were early so we walked around the Salem downtown mall for fun. I saw a going-out-of-business sale at Lane Bryant. I was sorry to see Lane Bryant close the downtown Salem store but I was interested in looking at bargains. I love bargain shopping. I found $5 jeans. I bought three because three $5 jeans were cheaper than buying one pair of jeans at regular price. I haven’t bought jeans in years except for Chic Jeans and now Chic Jeans don’t come in my size. These jeans were in a size big enough for me. Such a deal! I love them. The only problem is that I’m starting to lose weight, just at a time when I have three pairs of great jeans that fit me.

The Evening Star

Yesterday I watched a great movie with Shirley MacLaine. I love Shirley MacLaine. I’ve never seen this film. It has such great lines with great characters and layers of emotions in the network of relationships. Aurora Greenway lived, loved, and when she died, she was surrounded by people who loved her.

Cause No Harm

Sometimes bullies rule and courage is needed to stand up to them. Cause no harm is a philosophy of many but it is not the philosophy of Wade Haslam and Lars Olsen, both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have caused harm to me. Are they sorry? Why? Is it because I question and because I want to know the truth?
Maybe the truth lies in a comment made to my husband by an x-Navy man who lived in Gates, Oregon. It was the first time I had heard the word mafia linked to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and used in the same sentence.
I know Wade Haslam believes in control. He told my husband to shut me up and control me. Leslie told him, “Why? She’s right.”
Do I have a right to stand up for myself? Yes, I believe I do.

My Teeth

My teeth are in bad shape. Periodically, I have to gargle with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide because of inflamed gums.
My last trip to the dentist was to see Dr. Mark Henke in Corvallis who is in the same building with Wade Haslam, an orthodontist. I asked Dr. Henke about fixing my front tooth and he said he wouldn’t. His assistant was shocked that he wouldn’t help me. Why wouldn’t he help me? We paid him hundreds of dollars in payments. I asked him to pull a tooth that gave me constant pain and headaches. I told him about the pain at each visit and finally I threatened to have my husband pull it with pliers at home so he pulled it. As he looked at the extracted tooth, he commented to the nurse, “See how it calcified.” I asked to take the tooth home. Attached to the tooth was what looked like a computer chip covered in a white substance. Dr. Henke said my tooth had a deep crack all the way through so it was no wonder that it gave me constant pain. Couldn’t he see this with the repeated x-rays of this tooth at every visit?
What was going on that I wasn’t told? I know that Oregon State University and Hewlett Packard in Corvallis are centers of nanotechnology. Was I an experiment?


I got up this morning to watch the latest episode of Harper’s Island. John Wakefield is killing everyone on the island. It turned my attention to crime. In almost every large city in the United States there is violent crime. I recently read in Portland Monthly that in downtown Portland, the violent crimes are around 246 per year. I love downtown Portland and it should be protected. It has the Zoo, OMSI, the Portland Art Museum, and Broadway plays. Law abiding citizens are at the mercy of criminals at the time that law enforcement budgets are cut. I’ve learned from television that you can’t walk in Central Park in NYC at night because of criminals.
In September, 1993, Leslie and I visited China on a 17 day tour with Ocean Pacific. We walked on the Great Wall. In June, 1993, I had a bout with breast cancer and Leslie made the decision to start traveling. Life is short and he figured that it is far better to travel while you can, instead of waiting until you are stuck in a wheel chair. Money from a law suit made it possible.
In one of the large cities, our tour bus stopped at a large intersection. All traffic stopped. Several large flatbed trucks went by. On the back were prisoners dressed in white who were blindfolded and their hands tied behind their back. Three gunmen were surrounding each criminal. We asked on the tour bus what was happening. We were told that the criminals were taken to the edge of the city to be shot and their family would be charged for the bullet. No trial with a jury.
In the center of a different city, we were able to stop at a street market at night in safety. We were told that you walk without fear in China because law abiding citizens are safe. Now China is a major power. The intelligent, hard-working Chinese are protected and flourish.
I believe that it is important to protect the legal rights of the individual but it isn’t okay to allow those who commit violent crime to harass law abiding citizens and repeat these crimes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Timberhill Athletic Club

I went to Timberhill Athletic Club yesterday. I don't have medical insurance. Instead of paying for medical insurance, I pay for prevention. I think that the money is much better spent on prevention and healthy choices than on insurance that you may not use, especially when I can't afford the several hundred dollars a month or more that it would cost for insurance.

I was in the deep end of the pool for an hour putzing around and on the elliptical runner for an hour. Then I went into the room with the weight machines and went around three times on seven machines. Pretty good for a fat girl.

When you go to Timberhill Athletic Club you are spoiled rotten with all the great athletic equipment, variety of choices, great classes almost every hour in several classrooms, all the pools, the sauna, the steamroom, and hot tubs. It's the best money spent in a month for me, as far as I am concerned. It's almost like heaven being there. It's kind of strange that I should really enjoy exercising but I do. I don't go to socialize. I go to exercise and take care of myself. I'm being selfish when I walk through the door. I love it there. I wish I lived within walking distance so that I could go there every day. It's essential in my life and if people really valued their health, everyone in the Corvallis area would be members and go often. It's the best place for the money in the area. It's huge and spacious.

Consumer Beware!

Boy, did I get a consumer lesson yesterday when I went to the Safeway on Philomath Boulevard in Corvallis. My husband wanted me to get some Oscar Mayer hot dogs that were on sale in the Safeway ad listed for 2 for $3.00. The ad said assorted varieties. My husband, Leslie, also cut out a coupon that would give me $1.00 off, if I bought two packages of Oscar Mayer hot dogs. I also had a 50 cent double coupon so I was expecting to pay $1.50 for both packages of hot dogs. So I went to try to find the hot dogs in the massive store. I found the signs that said 2 for $3.00 for Oscar Mayer hot dogs. One said bun length and beef hot dogs so that is what I selected. That is all I purchased in the store. I decided to go to the check stand with the store manager since I figured with all the coupons, I didn't want any problems. I figured he would know what he was doing. I know him on sight since I have applied to work at Safeway without success when the store was remodeled and I gave him my resume personally and talked to him. When I got to the checkstand and the manager waited on me, I was shocked at the interaction. He's a tall man, a big guy who probably played football years ago. He has dark wavy, curly hair and I think his name is Jeff or Jeffrey. He scanned the hotdogs and said it was 2 for $6.00. I gave him my Safeway club card, my coupons, and said that it was 2 for $3.00. He left the cash register and said he was going to check on the price. I figured that was fine and I waited. He came back sticking to his story that the hotdogs were 2 for $6 so I said that we need to go back and look at the signage. I commented that maybe I needed to take a digital photo of the price on the shelf next time. I was treated like I had lied. He didn't treat me with respect. He's treated me like this in the past so I decided to stand up for myself. We got to the hotdog section and he pointed to the 2 for $6.00 sign for Oscar Mayer hot dogs and I pointed to the two signs that said 2 for $3.00 for Oscar Mayer hot dogs. He said it wasn't bun length so I pointed to the sign that said bun length and repeated bun length twice so he would get it into his thick skull. He took the sign off the shelf and said he would give it to me for the price but it wasn't going to happen again. He raced back to the cash register and it was hard for me to keep up. I said that I wasn't a liar and that I'm meticulous and careful. When we got back to the cash register, he said that for my trouble, he would give it to me free since I had already given him a coupon for $1.50 off. I thought that was great and I appreciated it. I was thinking of blogging it yesterday but decided not to. Today I found the cash register receipt in my purse where it said that the cash register rang it up in the first place as 2 for $3.00 so now I know he knew the price was 2 for $3.00. You have to watch all the time. He's probably a Mormon. Am I going into this Safeway again? Not if I can help it and I will be on guard every minute, if I do. If the price is posted and listed in an ad, you should be able to get it for the price without problems.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Garden

I have big plans for my garden and yard. It will take time, money, an endless supply of manure hay and compost. I've been having fun sculpting the blank canvas that is my yard and garden putting an azalea here and a dianthus there to add color and texture. My main concern is putting in raised beds to grow our own food and to add fruit and nut trees. I want to add lots of blueberry bushes.

I love my new raised beds. I have seven so far and I appreciate all that my husband has done to help me make it happen even though he hasn't felt great this year. I want to add a lot more. One or two a month, if possible. I have found that I can add supports on the sides to cover with plastic so I can create mini greenhouses during the winter. Oh the possibilities.........the color, all the food, all the fun.

Protect Women and Children

Women and children all over the world need protection and legal rights. Here it is 2009 and women still don't have equal rights in the U.S. Constitution.

Children aren't protected. Creepy men who abuse children have more rights and nothing is done to stop it. Most cases aren't brought to court and a slap on the hand is what most abusers get.

Many women around the world are not allowed to dream and have a better life. Many women throughout the world are expected to shut up, obey without question, and do as they are told. They are expected to succumb to whatever is expected. This has been going on for centuries. When is this going to stop?

Women and children need full legal protection.

Al Franken

I received a phone call yesterday by an arm of the National Democratic Party concerned with control of Congress in the next 10 years and gerrymandering by the Republican Party. To that I say....not only don't I have any extra money but what about Al Franken in Minnesota. Why aren't Democrats working to get Al Franken seated?

Why are Republicans allowed to keep this going in the courts without resolution? For heavens sakes, it's June! Is it because he has a strong voice and would make a difference? Is it because he is competent and smart? Is it because he just might change things?

We need the strong voice of Al Franken in Congress.

I was watching a Republican being interviewed on television who made the statement that you don't need an IQ test to become a member of Congress. I think there are a lot of people who shouldn't be in Congress, who take money for votes, and who don't have the brains to solve problems to make our country better.

Maybe there needs to be criteria for a seat in Congress--education, problem-solving skills, negotiation experience, proof that they can't be bought, etc.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Alsea Valley Voice

I volunteered to be the Editor of the Alsea Valley Voice since Rolfe Hagen is busy with other projects. I've written several newsletters in the past and I figured that this would be a way to contribute to the community and be more involved. I've been receiving mixed signals. I was told to go the ACE Board meeting and show them my writing resume and newsletters I've written so I did. When I got to the meeting, they wanted to know why I was there. I asked for five minutes to present. I showed them a notebook of two years of newsletters that I have written for the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild in Salem using Microsoft Publisher and a church newsletter along with issues of the East Salem News. I handed out my writing resume. I was told I couldn't change the integrity of the design of the newsletter. I was told that I was not allowed to have youth on staff to report. I was told that I am not allowed to report on the news in Alsea. I was told that I am not allowed to interview people for the AVV. Nothing like squeezing all the fun out of a project. Nothing can change for now. We can't go to a monthly issue. Now I wish I hadn't volunteered. I'll need to photocopy the last issue in order to cut it apart to scan in the masthead and advertising bites. Yes, I can do it but it is not with the same level of enthusiasm. I haven't received one article yet from anyone and the deadline is July 1. My husband said maybe I will have to leave space saying, "this is the space for the article that _____ didn't turn in." We'll see what happens. I did receive an e-mail from one regular writer who said she didn't have anything to write about for this issue even though July is going to be a busy month in Alsea and there might be a Blackberry Festival in September. I think some people around here in Alsea wishes I would move or fade into the woodwork never to be heard from again. One neighbor told me yesterday that maybe I would like it in New Zealand. I like to help out. I like to be involved. I enjoy being around people. I don't really enjoy lots of walls put up to prevent growth. The last newsletter I wrote was for the Corvallis Cruisers in Corvallis, the Volkswalk group. That was fun. I enjoy putting together newsletters but it is fun to have some kind of room to breathe and grow. Maybe I'm not the right person to be the Editor of the Alsea Valley Voice. There needs to be someone who will make sure nothing changes and that everyone will enjoy having as Editor.

Highway 20 Writing Group

I now belong to a new writing critique group with three other women. They are all serious writers and the emphasis is on publication. I feel lucky to be part of the group. One is a retired university professor who is writing a science suspense novel, another is writing humorous memoir, and the third is a former school psychologist who has published two beautiful children's science books in the past and is working on a middle-grade novel. These women are all smart and I can learn from all of them.

Rite Aid

I have Rite Aid to thank for some of the great plants in my yard and garden that I bought at great prices. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I saw that healthy rhododendrons and azaleas were only $5.99 regular price at the 9th Street location in Corvallis a few weeks ago. I bought several and put them around my yard. I will enjoy the beauty for years to come. On Tuesdays with your Rite Aid card, you can even get a discount on some items. I love their plant nursery.

East Salem News

I recently printed out pages of the East Salem News, a publication I started in Salem, Oregon years ago. It was fun to look with pride over the work that was done showcasing people doing amazing things, smart kids, and events in East Salem. It was a cut and paste tabloid that was given out free. We lived on Crown Court in East Salem at the time and kids in the neighborhood were on staff working with my own kids. We literally typed columns of print and pasted it in place to be printed at Eagle Web Press. I read one letter that I had long forgotten. It was by a professor from the University of Oregon who congratulated our efforts. I am proud of what was accomplished and the work that went into the paper. It was a no frills way to get out the news in the cheapest possible way before self publishing newsletter programs on computers.


I recently watched the heartbreaking special on tent cities with Lisa Ling on Oprah. I've always liked Lisa Ling and admire her work. She showed the sadness and heartbreak of people who had a home and a job last year who now live in tent cities across the country and are homeless. It's outrageous that we send money to care for people in other countries and not care about our people first.

It's not okay for children to be homeless. It's not okay for anyone to be without adequate shelter and food. It's not okay for anyone to be without health care. We need to invest in the potential of people. We need to make a university education free to anyone willing to do the work and who wants to learn. I'd love to go back to school. I have my bachelors degree but I want to get my MFA in writing. Sometimes I regret not going to law school. It would be fun to go to law school and become an advocate for the people without a voice and who feel powerless.

I switch to another channel and I hear Republicans that want to go back to the way things were so they can steal more money and dig an even deeper economic hole. I shake my head and sigh. Has everyone forgotten the last nine months of devastation? Just because President Obama has started to turn things around doesn't mean we can go back to the way things were. Change is needed. Permanent change to prevent further problems. Social security needs to be protected. The elderly and children need to be protected. The standards of education must be lifted up to compete with the best education you can receive anywhere in the world. People must be held accountable. Businesses must be held accountable and not allowed to charge a zillion times the price of a product just to take advantage and pad their bank account. Just because they have gotten away with it in the past, doesn't mean it's okay. It's not okay. The quality of life in our country must be raised and protected. We need to invest in people. We need to make sure that preventions are in place and secure so that everyone has a chance to dream and have a better life. No one should worry about being homeless or going hungry. No one should worry about health care or illness.

Oprah is a shining star on television who has the courage to make a difference and speak out on issues important to all of us and to help people. She has sacrificed so much to be a great leader. I admire her and love her.

Jane Yolen

I recently purchased at the Alsea Library a copy of Wizard's Hall by Jane Yolen for 25 cents. I've always respected and admired the great writing of Jane Yolen who has written over 100 children's books. She's won numerous writing awards. I've never seen Wizard's Hall or read it. I was shocked at the cover and was astounded after reading the first few pages to see a similiarity between J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and the Wizard's Hall. So I quickly look up the publishing date to see which book date came first. Wizard's Hall was published in 1991. The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997.

Pick up a copy of Wizard's Hall and see what you think. I think it's the pre-Harry Potter book.

Libby, Montana

Libby, Montana has been in the news. I was born in Libby on February 25, 1948. I lived there until the end of my third grade year and then we moved to Salem, Oregon where I have lived for most of my life.

Libby has been declared a federal emergency asbestos disaster area. I remember playing in the sparkling stuff that glittered in the sun as I threw it up in the air. My mother used it for crafts because it sparkled.

I've heard since moving to Alsea that Libby was called the Valley of Death by Native Americans.

People are dying in Libby after being exposed over the years. It's not the best place to locate a resort or spa. However, it is beautiful with spectacular scenery.

The Politics of Health Care

Is health care the same for everyone? NO! The rich receive the best care. If you question, have a mouth, or offend people in power, then health care becomes difficult. I need to find a doctor who cares about me, who wants to help me, who communicates clearly, and who is my health advocate. Oprah's health advocate is Dr. Michael Roizen at the Cleveland Clinic. I need someone too.

I've been going to OHSU the last few months. There are some great people who care and there are some who succumb to political pressure and others who care more about making sure the money keeps rolling in. Not all doctors communicate clearly. Not all doctors know the answers. Not all doctors and medical professionals are created equal. It's sad that today you have to be your own expert and can't trust. For $150, if you don't have health insurance, you can receive 6 months of care at OHSU so that's what I have been doing. I was told by one doctor at OHSU that "they have done enough." I still don't have some health issues addressed and I don't feel comfortable going back. One doctor asked me if my stomach hurt and seemed to think there was something major wrong but it was never checked out. Not all doctors communicate or make things clear. There are a lot nice people at OHSU and there are many smart, competent people at OHSU but it's a long drive to not receive the help I need and to receive conflicting opinions, and to receive some care that is questionable. I'm not going back. In my honest opinion, I feel I could receive better care in the European Union, Canada, or New Zealand where people are valued and the emphasis is on helping the patient and not concern about cost of care or what was said in a blog or in an article.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Health Care

47 million people in the United States of America are without health care and health insurance. This is outrageous. The strong Republican voices that oppose free health care are those wanting to protect their bank account. They sure don't care about people and what is happening in this country. This needs to change. We need to start to value human life again and the potential of all human beings in the United States. We need to move forward and work hard to build a bright future of hope and strength.

A very basic and necessary ingredient in building a bright future of hope is to provide FREE health care to all Americans. The greed of old cannot happen again. We must move forward in this country and put measures in place so that all Americans can dream again. When you have medical problems and no one to help you, it's hard to work on more creative work. When no one is there for you to help you when you desperately need help, you lose hope. The potential of all human beings who are not given basic care is lost. We cannot afford this tragic loss because we have so many bright and talented people living in this country.

With 47 MILLION Americans without health care, we need to stop listening to the greedy voices of the rich and the Republican conservatives and do something about it by giving FREE HEALTH CARE to ALL.

President Barack Obama

I got the July, 2009 issue of Harper's in the mail. My husband subscribes to it and I love reading it. The cover story is an essay by Kevin Baker, "Barack Hoover Obama: The Best and the Brightest Blow It Again" on page 29. I haven't finished reading it yet. It's all about President Herbert Hoover. I have never fully appreciated President Hoover and all his accomplishments in office so I will enjoy reading it. My shock is at the willingness to give up so easily on President Obama, the hope of the United States. We are only a few months into his Presidency. Kevin Baker says, "At home or abroad, he invariably appears to be the only adult in the room, the first American president in at least forty years to convey any gravitas." And then Mr. Baker says, "It is impossible not to wish desperately for his success as he tries to grapple with all that confronts him: a worldwide depression, catastrophic climate change, an unjust and inadequate health-care system, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ongoing disgrace of Guantanamo, a floundering education system." And then Kevin Baker in paragraph three predicts President Obama's failure. How can this be?

If President Obama is making any mistake at all, it is that he is too nice and trying to be everything to every American. He is brilliant and is capable of being the greatest President in the history of the United States, IF he does what needs to be done to turn this country around instead of looking for permission. The Republican Party has devastated the United States of America in every area of importance. President Obama was elected to bring change. Like Nike says, JUST DO IT!

We need free health care for all Americans because it's about time that we value and protect life and the potential of all Americans. We need free college and free university education for anyone wanting to put in the time and the work to learn so that we focus on the future and building our resources. We need to protect the elderly by protecting Social Security, the only proven retirement. If the Republicans get back into power and get their greedy little hands on Social Security, they will steal the money and the elderly will be out on the street without protection. We need to stop the loop holes for the rich so they can't take their money outside of the country without penalty and so they have to pay their fair share of taxes. If you do business in the United States of America, you should pay your fair share of taxes to protect our future and the potential of all Americans. We need to protect children and quit coddling criminals. What's this about that scum bag who raped a five year old little girl and gets a year in prison? Outrageous! That judge should be disbarred or at the very least put on probation and have his record under a microscope to see how many criminals he has allowed to walk. There needs to be medical and financial audits to uncover the crooks, criminals, and crimes that have distorted and destroyed our way of life. It's not okay to put outrageous prices on everything just so a few have a summer home in the Hamptons, 12 mansions, and can do whatever they want, whenever they want. It's not okay to operate this way, the Republican way, after destroying the future in the United States. We need to protect wildlife, the environment, clean water, and clean air. The Republicans have done everything they could to destroy wildlife, the environment and make sure that there is not one drop of clean water or one molecule of clean air so measures need to be put into place to protect our planet so that NEVER again can anyone do this kind of damage.

Kevin Baker, I disagree. President Obama isn't a failure. He will rise to fix all problems. He has done an absolutely remarkable job so far with everyone criticizing his every move, even though he moves flawlessly. President Obama isn't done. It's not over till it's over. Start by supporting President Obama. Change is needed. President Obama was elected to give hope to all Americans and to bring change. He will do it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Creativity Coach

If you're a writer and you want a great creativity coach, contact Michael Michnya at For the last few weeks, Michael has been my creativity coach with insightful questions to zero in on my schedule, productivity, and writing. I appreciate his help and because of his encouragement and insight, I was able to finish my screenplay in April, and I've been sending out my work in June.

I signed up for a free creativity coach with Eric Maisel, who trains creativity coaches. As creativity coaches are in training, they offer free service to writers and artists. I was happy to be selected and I sure appreciate the help. It would be fun to go through the training and be a creativity coach but that has to stay on the back burner until I get a soft cushion in my bank account and all medical bills are paid off.


My husband, Leslie went to see Dr. Wahba yesterday. Dr. Wahba has taken great care of him. I appreciate his phone calls to my husband to communicate. He has monitored Les with blood tests and doctor visits. Yesterday he said that if doctors at OHSU can't figure out what's wrong, Les will be referred to the Mayo Clinic or John Hopkins. I sure hope that someone can figure out what's wrong so Les doesn't have to go through another bout in the hospital.

Les seems fine now but when no one knows what landed him in the hospital before, it's hard to know how to prevent him having problems again.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

my novel

I have submitted my novel that I wrote in November for National Novel Writing Month to the self publishing website, Create Space. I have been working on my novel for months revising it. It's not perfect but I was given the opportunity to get a copy of my book free at the website Create Space so I thought I'd do it. I finished it on time by the deadline on June 1. I have the opportunity to publish with, which is a great idea since they are great at marketing. It eliminates my frustrating attempt at standing on my tippy toes waving my hand trying to get noticed and wanted by a book publisher and agent. It allows me to just write and then write more.

I'm going to revise my novel before publishing though. It needs lots of work still. I also want to change my book cover again. I've also decided I need my characters to go to a Pink Martini Concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. Ideas keep coming so it isn't over or finished until it is finished. My book will probably never be perfect because I'm not perfect. I always see ways to make it better and there are always better ideas and better ways to say things but I have decided to try and get myself out there to live my dreams. My first book is just the beginning. If I keep trying and writing books, my tenth book has to be an improvement. I'm going to publish with this year in 2009!


Yesterday I talked to a woman who has lived in Arizona when I went to OHSU. She gave me new insight into the summers of Arizona, which I appreciate. She said that summers in Arizona are their winter as they stay inside with the air conditioning but I ask what happens when the power fails? I don't think it's too good. I don't think I'd enjoy 120 degrees without air conditioning.

When I flew over Arizona on my last trip to Ohio to see my son, Daniel, I saw nothing for miles. I didn't see desert sand. I saw endless miles of medium brown barren hills and mountains that looked as if they had been scraped clean of all vegetation. I also thought at the time that it looked like someone had taken brown construction paper crumpled it up and stuck it there for mountains.

I know a lot of people appreciate Arizona. I'm sure it's fine in winter.

My Garden

I am having so much fun out in my garden lately. I love seeing the daily changes, new flowers, finding weeds that need to be pulled, seeing the butterflies and dragonflies that dart about admidst the singing of all the birds in our yard that come to our feeders.

I now have six raised beds finished and plan on more. You don't have to reinvent your garden every year and start from scratch with raised beds. It's there. You just plant and add more compost.

I wish the weather would stay at 60 degrees though all year long, every day and never change. I don't like hot weather. I think rain should come only at night when you're sleeping. Severe weather can be a hardship and threatening to life. I'm glad we live in a mild climate.


Yesterday I went to the Alsea Public Library and bought some of the books for 25 cents and 50 cents. I came home with $8. worth and then went back for $3. more. I got some great books.

Yesterday I read a little book by Garrison Keillor called Truckstop and Other Lake Wobegon Stories. I've always loved Garrison Keillor. At rare moments I catch his A Prairie Home Companion on public radio. (We don't get great radio at my house and I don't have a good radio so I listen to radio in my car.) The humor and the charm of his stories about the people of Minnesota have always made me laugh and smile. In this book that I read yesterday, I loved the last story especially called Homecoming, which tells about digging up a septic tank that turns out to be an old Chevy car.

Now I am halfway through reading So Many Books, So Little Time: A year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson. I love her too since she also loves Nora Ephron and Philip Roth. Sara Nelson makes me want to make my own reading challenge. Sara has reminded me that the BEST friends are books.

At first I was thinking of reading a book a day since I am pretty competitive and want to do more and better but I wonder if I can really live up to that realistically. My Dad used to read a book a day. He read a western book every night and then read the Bible. He read the Bible 8 to 10 times all the way through every year. I guess my personal reading challenge depends on whether or not I finish this book today. I figure I can always read children's books since I am also a writer for children and I need to read books for children. I think two books a week is more realistic but I'd like to try for a book a day. Will I make it?

Pink Martini

I LOVE Pink Martini and was sad that I couldn't afford to go up to Portland to see them at the recent concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. I asked my husband to go and buy a CD for our son, Joe, since his birthday is coming up on the 19th. I know he will love them, as I do. Joe writes music. In one six month period, he wrote over 24 songs. He's also a great performer on stage acting or singing so I knew he would appreciate the music excellence. When my husband called on his cell to ask which one to get out of those at Fred Meyer in Corvallis, I said the new one, Live in Concert. I decided that since I didn't get to go to the concert, I wanted one too. I didn't expect to find a DVD instead of a CD. Since we rarely buy CD's or DVD's, I first tried it out in CD players throughout the house thinking it was blank. When I found out it was a DVD and watched their incredible performance live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, tears streamed down my face for I was there and now I can be there each time I watch.

It's wonderful to see the faces behind the music and see them perform. Their passionate music attracts people all over the world. Trained as classical musicians, their music reaches the highest excellence. I love them. I wish I could travel with the band. It would be fun to meet them.

It would be fun to live in Portland or another large city, IF I could afford it because then I could see Pink Martini, visit the zoo, the art museum and galleries, the science museums, see live theater and Broadway plays. This year Neal Simon plays are being performed in Portland and I have missed out seeing them too.

Buy a Pink Martini CD or DVD the next time you're at the music section at the store.