Monday, July 30, 2012

Catching Up on Good News

Nothing like a couple of days away from the 24 hr news cycle. I went to work at the tasting room Saturday, drove to Vancouver to spend the night with Liz and Perry Campbell, briefly read The Columbian Sunday morning before we left for Seattle. We talked all the way up and back on the drive with fellow delegate Gene Finley, so no radio news. Got home around 10 and watched Olympics until the tumbling girls all started looking alike (about 30 minutes) and went to bed.

This morning, I read the saved Sunday Oregonian, the Monday Oregonian, and hit the computer. While I was out:
-The Red Sox beat the Yankees TWICE at Yankee Stadium
-Mitt Romney continued raising eyebrows: praising Israel's Socialized Health Care
-There was an announcement that I'll get to hear The Big Dog again in Charlotte (I heard Bill Clinton speak in McMinnville back in 2008 when he was stumping for Hillary)
-There will be a plank in the Democratic Platform at the Convention in support of marriage equality
and, most importantly,
-my niece Sydney recuperated so quickly from her emergency appendectomy on Saturday that she's going home today. Speedy healing, Syddo!

I love Good News Mondays.

Always Have a Plan B

My two fellow delegates from CD3 and I were pretty excited after our blogging workshop in Seattle yesterday with Andrew Villeneauve from the Northwest Progressive Institute. We were happily heading south on I-5 when flashing lights warned us: Traffic accident ahead. All lanes blocked. 2 mile back up.

Hmmm. Things were moving well...decisions, decisions. We went with cautious, and decided to take a detour across the lake on I-90, on down I-405 to Renton. I was happy the driver and copilot knew their way around Seattle enough to know to do that! Except we took the wrong exit. Retake. We went back around, now the flashing signs said 5 mile back up. No question, take the alternate route. We got it right that time.

While it added a little time to our trip, we rejoined I-5 with no problems (and VERY light traffic from the north), and sailed on to Vancouver. After a quick bite to eat with Liz, I drove back to the Gorge, and got home in time to watch a little bit of gymnastics before heading to bed. And enjoy a much needed glass of wine.

Today's Seattle Times detailed the delay. We made the right choice, missing out on a car chase, a shooting, a rolled Kia, and fender benders near the Boeing exit. YIKES!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Officially In Training

I've been warned by veteran Convention goers to wear comfortable shoes, carry as small a bag around as possible so as to cruise through the security lines, stay hydrated and to learn how to get by on 5 hours of sleep.

After many years of living in hotter latitudes, I have a vast array of fine water bottles, and never leave home without one. So staying hydrated is not a problem. 

Shoes, I live for comfy shoes. But I have been in need of a comfy pair of sandals. It will be Labor Day weekend in Charlotte when I arrive, so sandals will be appropriate. It's still hot in the south. I can check off that little item. I found some lovely blue (of course) Chacos on sale at Sierra Trading Post. They look fabulous with my blue nail polish, and I walked around and stood in them Saturday from 7:30 am until 11:00 pm. PERFECT!!

This was also an exercise in going full throttle all day. After coffee and some breakfast, I loaded up the Subaru with six cases of water, 14 packages of Costco Polish Dogs in a cooler, 11 multipacks of sandwich rolls, 6 huge bags of kettle chips, condiments, napkins, and a cooler full of bagged ice, then unloaded them at Katina's for food vending at the Art and Wine Fusion. I then went home and loaded up an EZ Up tent, two jugs of iced beverages, two folding tables, a big giant rubbermaid box of 'stuff', three folding chairs, a cooler of watermelon, and multiple candidate signs, and drove them to Rheingarten Park for the LD14 Democrats Picnic. We were all set up when the first guests from out of town (Yakima) arrived promptly at 11. The festivities ended at 2.

We packed it all back up, adding two big boxes of NEW candidate signs and posts. I took it home, unloaded all but the tent, and folding tables, and returned to Katina's. Unloaded it all, then spent the next 7 hours either selling dogs or pouring wine samples with a few of my favorite fellow travelers. We were at the Cafe on the right of this photo (thanks, Darlisa Black), as kid parade rolls.

Then we packed it all up again, and I headed the Suby back to the barn...and to feed my poor dog, who probably would have thought we forgot her, but lucky for us, a little bit of doggie dementia can be a blessing. I fed her, unloaded the coolers with food, washed them out, then sat down with a big glass of wine and put my feet up at about 11 pm. Never drank much of the wine, answered a few emails, and went to bed at midnight. I didn't even hear Lloyd, who was running the show at the Art and Wine Fusion, get in at 1. He said he thought the shower would wake me up. Normally yes. But not that night.

I felt great the next day, which was a good thing...I still had to unload the rest of the car and put everything away. It's amazing how much can fit into a Subaru Outback. But now I need to work on the getting by with 5 hours of sleep thing. Maybe I'll just stay well rested and go for broke when I get there. They must have good coffee in Charlotte...maybe just not a drive through on every corner. But that's OK, I'll be WALKING!

This is how we roll in retirement.

Jetting Through July

Well, I had my little sojourn back east, nearly 2 weeks of family, friends and fun. I found summer when I landed at Logan. There was no need to pack those jeans, long sleeved shirts or light fleece jacket. The entire trip was sunny and warm, with the occasional Tstorm threat that never made it through Boston...until I was on the Cape on the 4th. Then they had to evacuate the Esplanade during the Pops concert, pre fireworks because of severe weather. I probably would have been there with my sister, who left her bridge view spot for the tunnels on Storrow Drive. But I digress...

My first big event was our Waltham High School Class of 70 Turns 60 Birthday Bash on June 30th. A pre-party at the Marriott bar Friday night was a good way to break the ice. My sister Linda, class of 71, came with me. And dressed me, in a cute little black dress. She also dressed me for the Bash, in a long summery dress. Smashing. Thanks, Linda. And Alina took me out for a pedicure for my birthday present so my toes looked pretty smashing as well! It was good to see old friends, many of whom I'd not seen since graduation.

Enjoyed my time with Mom, had a great night at Linda's for Patrick's 27th Birthday on the 3rd.

I visited the Concords for their 4th cookout, then I left my laptop behind for a tech break, and headed with Alina to Chatham for a few days with Larry and Helen McKevitt.

We had such a great time, no internet, walking around town, and lazing at the beach, with short dips to cool off- white shark alerts kept everyone very close to shore.

We took a drive with Cassie in her convertible to Provincetown, taking in a drag queen show, eating oysters, drinking local brews, and sipping more than a few different wines and talking late into the night on the deck. Nothing like some good quality time with a daughter.

At the end of the week we drove to Falmouth for our Cape Cousin reunion, planned back in Feb 2011 at Dad's funeral. All 5 Cape cousins, spouses and most of their kids gathered at the old homestead, 31 Gayle Ave, now owned by cousin Jim (aka Tiba). Cousin Pat (aka Cookie) is doing his best Uncle Jim imitation. Uncle Jim used to wear that very hat and apron whenever there was a cookout at their place. So glad Cookie saved it. We had some good laughs about burned chicken.

We got everyone in front of 31 Gayle for a photo. The 'Walthams' were missing Carol and Mary, five out of seven ain't bad! Add Alina, Linda's three boys and Janet's Paul, and we had half our our kids there, too. Kevin's fiance Heather and Ryan's Soraya joined in the fun. Mom was the honored guest. It was a great day. I'm still smiling about that one.It's a keeper. Eat your hearts out, Concord Sullivans! To ensure you are in the NEXT one, you're hosting, haha.

My last night in Waltham, I boiled up some lobsters for Mom, Mark and myself. What a treat! Karen came to visit on Tuesday, and dropped me at the airport for my flight home.

I arrived home to find that summer had made it to the Gorge while I was gone. The radishes had gone crazy, the lettuce was up and needed thinning, the spinach and arugula were bolting, and the tomato plants finally had some blossoms and wee green tomatoes starting. And along with summer, we had guests! Our retired Chevron friends Steve and Bev Zalen stopped by for 2 nights with Ozzy, their Tibetan Spaniel. Welcome home!