Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Boxing Day

For my friends from Canada! :-)

Poor Denis worked this weekend and I worked short shifts in my old job in the hospital on Christmas Eve and Day. So we celebrated our Christmas today. We had a wonderful day of enjoying each other and my mom's company as well. Also we enjoyed a phone call to my brother and his family in Ohio.

I sincerely hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your loved ones as well. And most of all that the blessing of Christ's coming to the world touches your life in the coming year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Back from San Fran

Well, we are back. Did you miss us? We had a great trip, so I thought I would write a brief report.
We left Friday and drove to Redding for our first stop at the Lil Bear Teardrop Trailer office. We met with the owner, Grant, to get more info about buying a trailer. We were able to see a complete trailer and get a better idea of what kind of options are available. Grant was very graicious and stayed late to talk with us for about an hour. From there we drove on to Willows and stayed the night.

Saturday morning we surprised ourselves by getting on the road by 10 AM. We got into SF about 1 and drove down to Fisherman's Warf to "check in" at the Trendwest office. (They paid for our hotel for 2 nights.) We had free parking there, and weren't supposed to check in to the hotel till 4, so we wandered around the warf for a while, ate the classic clam chowder in a bread bowl, then took the F line to the Ferry Building and checked out the market. Then we picked up the car and drove to the hotel. In the evening we did some window shopping in the Union Square stores and ate in China Town. Our hotel was straight across the street from the Chinatown gate.

Sunday, I beat Denis out of bed, so I walked to a coffee shop and bought us some caffeine and pastries to get the day started. (Denis was very appreciative.) We took the F line again down to the warf for our presentation. Our "presenter" started out by assuring us that they do not "pressure sell", but at the end we wondered what her definition of pressure sales would be. The program really did sound attractive, but we just don't have it in our budget right now. And the humorous thing is that we are looking at buying a trailer that would head us in the complete opposite vacation direction! (semi-roughing it in a teardrop, vs. luxry condos in exotic locations) With that out of the way, we lunched at the warf again and headed back to Union Square. This time I made it into the Lush store where I got to try some of the products that I had only read about online before. I first saw a Lush store in Victoria, BC and was sad to find out that they were nowhere to be found in the US. Now they are finally here and there is a store even in Portland. We had dinner in the restaurant next door to our hotel called Cafe de la Presse. It is french, the food was great and we shared an interesting dessert called Creme Anglaise.

Monday, we headed north across the Golden Gate Bridge (no toll going north) and aimed for the redwoods. We didn't make it as far as we hoped but stopped in Garberville, CA for the night. It had rained quite a bit on Friday and Saturday, so the Eel river, which HWY 101 follows was quite swollen. It was quite startling to see the water rushing by in the river and all the tributaries. And when we later stopped at a museum which had info about the great flood of December, 1964, it was all the more amazing to imagine.

Tuesday we drove along the Avenue of the Giants through towering redwoods. Really fabulous. The visitors center there was very informative. The road was closed at one section due to a fallen tree. But fortunately, there are entrances and exits onto the Avenue from the new HWY 101 all along the way. We only had to go about 2 miles out of the way before we were able to join up with it again. Once we reached Humbolt Bay, we found a wildlife refuge with a very friendly and helpful manager who showed us the birds that were there. We had lunch in the "hippie town" of Arcata at a wonderful cafe. Finally, we drove the long way home via HWY 96 which winds along the Klamath river through the Siskiyou mountains. It really was breathtaking for as long as we could see the scenery.

So it was a great trip and we can't believe how much we saw in the 5 days we were gone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Sociological Observation

Denis and I recently watched the movie Big Fish. This is the one in which a young man visits his dying father and wants to get to know him better. The father has always told tall tales - his life stories embellished till they are unbelievable and his son wants to know the truth. Well, Denis really enjoyed this movie. It seemed to me that he liked it an inordinate amount compared to the quality of the plot. This supports my developing theory about movies that men like.

Now we all know what kind of movies are "Chick Flicks". Romantic comedies - men generally watch them to humor us, movies that focus on relationships between women - a la Ya Ya Sisterhood. But what kind of movies do men gravitate toward? Stereotypically, movies for men are action movies. But I think there is another category out there. A small number of movies that are made with men in mind and get to the heart of the male experience.

The first movie that started my theory here was "Wrestling Ernest Hemmingway" with Robert Duvall and Richard Harris. Denis recommended this movie to me while we were still emailing long distance. He told me that it was one of his favorite movies of all time. So I rented it. It is about two aging men who meet at a diner and strike up a friendship. This is not an action movie; it is all about the relationships in their lives. At the time, I coined it a "chick flick for men".

Another recent movie in this category would be "In Good Company" with Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace. A movie about an older executive who finds his company being taken over and led by a man half his age. It explores the differences between the two men's values and approaches to their work and lives. Again, Denis really like it, and so did I, but he reacted to parts of the film differently than I did. He laughed in some spots and I didn't get the joke or think it was that funny.

So what do you guys out there think? Have you seen any of these three movies? What did you enjoy about them? Does anyone have a nice catchy name that we can call them? Do you have any titles that would fall into this category of film?

Friday, December 09, 2005

High demand for visit to Portland

We have so many friends that we would love to see when we come to Portland, but there is just never time to fit everyone in. A couple of you posted a comment asking if we would be in Portland for the holidays, but we will not be. We are going on a quick trip to San Francisco next week courtesy of Trendwest resorts. We listen to one of their schpeals about the timeshare outfit in exchange for two nights at the lovely Triton Hotel in the Union Square district. (We are practicing saying, "no thank you".) It should be fun.

But it occurred to me that next time we are in Portland, it would be great to have some sort of open house so that we could see a lot of friends in one trip. If anyone would be interested in hosting a "Tracy and Denis Open House" in the future, please let me know.

BTW, that's last year's picture.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Music in my CD player

I love to pick out 5 CDs to put in our changer as a set. I try to pick music that is related and in an order that will flow from one to the other. Right now the set is worship-oriented Contemporary Christian music. #1 Hungry by Vineyard Music, #2 Third Day - Come Together, #3 Jennifer Knapp - The Way I am, #4 Bebo Norman - Ten Thousand Days, #5 Rich Mullins - The World As Best As I Can Remember It, Volume One.

Speaking of great music, I just spent quite a bit of time listening to samples of some great artists I had never heard of. Check it out at I loved Koo Chung and Alli Rogers. I also didn't realize that Bebo Norman was part of a Christmas project called "Joy". There is some terrific sounding Christian music out there.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Introductions are in order

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. I am a 38 year old woman living in Medford, Oregon. I am an RN and recently started working as a Diabetes Educator. I thoroughly love to teach and have enjoyed the change of pace so far.

I was inspired to try out a blog because my friend recently did as well. I think I might have some interesting things to say. We'll see.

The newest development in my life is that my husband and I have a growing interest in getting a teardrop trailer. Have you ever seen one of these? Very small, light-weight and towable trailer with a kitchen which opens up in the rear and a queen-sized bed taking up the whole space in the main campartment. We both like to camp, but with our bodies getting older, we would like things to be a bit easier. The trailer would mean quicker packing, no more tent, not so much gear to haul back and forth. So we are dreaming. We are good at that. Check it out: and

Have a great day!