Friday, April 30, 2010

PW does Portland

so, i KNOW that the Pioneer Woman (aka PW, Ree Drummond, P-dub) is popular. I mean, really, the woman has been on national television several times, has published her own photographs and has a constantly updated blog chronicling her life on an Oklahoma cattle ranch that is read by tens of thousands of people. I know this. I am one of these people. Oh, and she is having a movie made of her life. people know this woman.

so, i'm not sure what i was expecting when i went to her book signing here in Portland. somehow, despite all her notoriety i thought it might be a small, subdued shindig. because, for all her accolades, and my constant reading of her life, cooking and photo skills - i have not yet ever run into someone else who reads her blog. so, here i assumed in rainy, little portland, that if i just *showed* up on time, i'd have a shot at talking to Ree. (not that i had any idea what to say except that i obsessively follow her blog, but can't write, cook or photograph nearly as well as she can!)

who was i even kidding? this is what it looked like when I arrived.

i *should* have know. of course it didn't help that we got a little bit lost thanks to my GPS, but there's no way i would have ever been there early enough to get a ticket. the woman standing behind me, arrived at 430, and got ticket number 300. THREE HUNDRED. and the signing didn't start until 6 - so I don't even want to know what number I would have been. and we'll never know, as there weren't any numbers left.

so, i guess, people in Portland know Ree.

So there we were, standing in the mall corridor, on a slight incline so I could *just* make out the empty podium. believe me, i tried to use zoom to get some close up shots, but my little point and shoot didn't quite cut it. So, we're chatting to some of the folks standing around, explaining to bewildered mall-goers what all this fuss was about when, all too quickly Ree walks in from behind us, apologizing for being late (her GPS had trouble too) and making her way through the throngs of adoring fans, and on up to the podium.

i wish i could post a picture of when PW said this to us, but, alas, I was so not ready with my camera.

we, did however get to chat with her daughter and mother-in-law!

And when i say we - i mean mostly the woman standing behind me. i felt kind of awkward. i feel like i know these people, but i don't *actually* know these people. that almost makes me feel like a stalker when i say it that way. Ree - i promise, i'm not. i did say hi. and ask if they enjoyed portland. (they did).

and found out that Ree's eldest daughter was allowed on the trip because she was the only one who wouldn't be missing soccer. see, i really was there. And so was Tracey, in her lucky jumper.

Ree answered questions, sang, and gave life advice. you know, all the things you do at a book signing. there were parts of it i couldn't hear while all the way in the back. so, after the talking finished and the signing started (for which i had no number) i crept up toward the front. through the millions and millions of people. maybe not millions, in actuality as portland doesn't have that kind of population density. but. lots of people. women, husbands, children, lots of babies... i couldn't compete.

Tracey snagged her first look at the cookbook (which her family then surprised her with for her birthday!
and then, i was definitely that girl who went up to the front and starting taking photos of PW and other people. so, here's Ree:

and I'm assuming these women came together, in their matching teal. it was great to see sets of friends, mothers and daughters all talking food and photography.

and no, i have no idea what they are talking about - but whatever it was got bigger, according to the woman on the left.

here we go! i'm pretty sure i was sitting on the floor to take this one. i was the girl in the bright red corduroy jacket who did not get a book signed but came up close and took photos anyway.

btw , Ree - i heart your hair. and your boots. don't take this the wrong way, but can i be you?

so, with the abundance of adorable children

and babies with faces like this one, i doubt if Ree even noticed my stalker-like tendencies...

in another, less chaotic section of the store

there was some more book-signing going on.

So, all in all it was an adventure. i am glad i went! i am sad to admit i did not wait the line out, until general call. (Ree, I love you, but we were hungry). I hope PW and her family enjoyed Portland, and will come and visit again sometime!

Thanks, Ree! (oh, and in this photo I'm pretty sure the woman was asking Ree what type of coffee beverage she was drinking. people are such a trip!)

Lost April/Where did you go?

i CANNOT believe it is the end of April. really. this month has been full up. completely and totally full up.

it all started innocently enough. you know, with April first. and there were no shenanigans. on april 2nd however... the mischief began.

tim's family came to visit from England - his lovely sister, Tracey.

Tracey @ on of the many falls in Silver Falls SP

Her husband, Colin.

Colin @ Cabin # 4

and their 2 boys, Jon and Will.

(L to R) Will, Tim and Jon practicing their catalogue poses

Little did we all know when they arrived that they would be stranded here for the month.

The first 2 weeks went as planned, the Hinsleys visted, then went off to explore the beautiful Oregon coast (perhaps never to return!) then we all journeyed down to Silver Falls to get a dose of rain, waterfalls and more shades of green than you could ever possibly imagine. the Hinsleys then took off again - this time toward Mt. Hood. All the while, work has been pretty busy, and I've been neglecting yoga severely.

Upon their return from the east we celebrated a very important birthday of one mr. tim taylor. complete with sausage rolls and party games. and cake. (remember cake, it becomes a very recurring theme for the month of april).

Tim's surprise bday set-up

the next day, while the Hinsleys were scheduled to depart (sadly, i might add - for me - as i felt like i had hardly any time to hang out with them) they were unable to due to the large ash cloud hanging over most of western europe's airspace (oops).

and so, due to the magic of a volcano erupting over Iceland, the Hinsley family extended their stay for another 8 days (approximately). during which time there was cake. lots and lots of cake. secretly, i was really excited. not about the stress it caused everyone and the rewriting of plans, but to have more time, more laughter, and well, yes, even more cake.

firstly i stole Tracey and we went to The Pioneer Woman's book signing. this will be a separate post. but, yes, we met Ree. exciting.

secondly, we had Will's birthday to plan - which involved, as per his wishes, a cake of four cakes. i'll leave you to ponder that a moment.

Will's Epic Cake.
in 4 parts: coffee walnut, marshmallow chocolate, raspberries and cream, and nutella and marshmallow

thirdly - it was SO SO nice to have Tracey, Colin, Jon and Will here - to get a chance to have them stay with us, and get to know them - eat lots of delicious meals, laugh a whole lot and generally have a good time. i hope they enjoyed their stay and have happy thoughts about oregon, and staying with us!

and that was pretty much april - would you believe - the Hinsley family departed on the 26th, but not before we celebrated Tracey's birthday on the 25th - and since then i've been busy at work, not cleaning the house, and being incredulous that the month has already flown by. wow.

post on PW's book signing and photos to arrive soon.

also, i didn't mean to neglect you - it's just that, well, i've been pretty much neglecting everything. i have tons of photos to sort through, post and well, generally get under control. hopefully soon.

objects in the mirror are closer than they seem... where DID april go?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

we can never know what to want...

"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."
-Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

this quote came to mind after chatting with Emily for a bit. It just seems so true sometimes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

already the heart

this poem has been repeating itself in my head as of late. my dear friend Sara sent it to me several years ago along with a letter. i don't know where she came across it, but certainly i thank her for sharing it. for some reason it has stuck with me and comes unasked into my thoughts. so, now, i share with you.

Already the Heart

The spinal cord blossoms

like bright, bruised magnolia
into the brainstem.
And already the heart

in its depth - who could assail it?

Bathed in my voice, all branching
and dreaming. The flowering

and fading - said the poet -
come to us both at once.
Here is your best self,
and the least, two sparrows
alight in the one tree
of your body.

-A.V. Christie

Here is your best self,/and the least, two sparrows/alight in the one tree/of your body... indeed. this is what keeps spinning around my head.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

...watching the tide roll away...

l spent the past weekend in San Francisco, where I haven't been for wayyyy too long. it was great. and while it was great, it was also superquick and not nearly enough time to visit or explore. guess i'll just have to go back. so, let's see... I stayed in Berkeley for 3 nights with the lovely Barbara and her husband Justin. They just moved into the coolest apartment built around a boulder. they have solar power and radiant floor heat. (btw, i LOVE radiant floor heat). amazing. also, totally amazing to catch up with friends and colleagues (Janie stayed with Barbara too!). We had a great time catching up, outside the seminar... we even managed to eat delicious cupcakes while sitting by the bay :)

the seminar itself. i am not even sure where to begin. i'm still processing it all. Ikeda Sensei was amazing, and Edward Sensei was a phenomenal translator. i definitely felt that my brain was trying to understand and recover the long ago Japanese studies it received. and man, do I want to learn Japanese again. The information was great, but lots, and more than anything, the whole experience was just an inspiration and made me fall in love with this medicine all over again.

briefly got to catch up with Lisa and Aunt Debbie. So so great to see them. And certainly not nearly enough time to do us all justice. Thank you both for meeting up with me :) So good to hug you!

And then spent Monday with Emily (thank you Clint for sharing your apartment) and mostly we just walked around Chinatown and caught up. (and emily got some very fabulous bok choy hair clips).

overall, exhausting. but so good. I needed it. all of it. the professional inspiration, the catching up with colleagues and friends, the getting out of my own life for a few days. it could not have come at better time. so, thank you, everyone who made it possible.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

the true and the questions

Tomorrow is my 29th birthday and life is messy... All my life I thought that at 29 I would really get it together. my life pulled together. Life would be clear and right. Life isn't. Life is messy.

We are juggling our balls of grocery lists and birthda
y cards to send. emails to write and appointments to reschedule. keeping them moving in the air. We are all carrying so many things in our life. and inside ourselves. often it feels there is no place to put them down.

Where do you place the questions you carry? The sadness and the epiphanies? The quiet worries? Where can you put down the truth, as messy and new and raw as it sometimes feels?

- Sabrina Ward Harrison, The True and the Questions

kind of where i'm at right now. and didn't have better words than those. (it's a great journal by the way - interesting questions, beautiful art and some inspiration)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

you catch your breath and winter starts again/ and everyone else is spring bound...

the past week and a half has been gorgeous here...

as i mentioned, flowers blooming, warm, sunny weather. everyone is so happy.

oddly, am feeling not ready for spring. emotionally i think i still need a bit of winter, introspection, withdrawing into myself... i am not quite ready to be moving outward. luckily for me, there's been a bit of rain the past few days - which has let me sleep a bit better. it's nothing like winter, but it'll do.

i think i just need a few more weeks, and then i'll be ready for the spring.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I tiger you.

It's true.

I do. Xin nian kuai le and happy lunar new year. Despite being largely absent for the past few weeks (apologies, have been working though some life things). I am here. And apparently here in Portland, we think it's spring. crocuses and daffodils not only shoots appearing but flowers as well. we're only in February. I keep telling the plants that they need to wait a month... i am worried for their futures should we return to winter in the meantime.

however, that being said, i am certainly don't mind sunshine and 50 degree weather. i, for one, cannot believe that it is the middle of february already. there is so much going on in the upcoming months... sometimes it overwhelms me.

the exciting news of the next few weeks is that i am heading to San Francisco to attend a 3 day seminar with Masakazu Ikeda on Japanese acupuncture. so so SO excited. seriously. not only am i excited to be immersed in Japanese acupuncture (i feel a bit like i've been lacking it in my life) but i will also get to see some old friends and colleagues who are also attending this seminar. i won't lie, i am also very excited about that part of things as well. especially because i feel that close friends is something i've been lacking close by. it'll be good to spend some time with people who know me. and to make it even better, emily is coming up for the weekend and i will get to spend some quality time with her! yay! am also hoping that we can work out schedules so i can see Aunt Debbie, Lisa and Merrily if time permits! yay!

on the flip-side of things it's been a tough month, not sure if it was the detox + other events but i was remarkably sad. and while there is nothing inherently wrong with this (emotions are like weather, no? they come and go) i am on a search to find out why- when life right now is essentially good - do i feel this heaviness? i'll let you know... ha.

a partial quote from one of my very favorite Pema Chodron pieces

"This first noble truth says that it's part of being human to feel discomfort. Nothing in its essence is one way or the other. All around us the wind, the fire, the earth, the water, are always taking on different qualities; they're like magicians. We also change like the weather. We ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We fail to see that like the weather, we are fluid, not solid. And so we suffer... If we learn to sit still like a mountain in a hurricane, unprotected from the truth and vividness and the immediacy of simply being part of life, then we are not this separate being who has to have things turn out our way. When we stop resisting and let the weather simply flow through us, we can live our lives completely. It's up to us."