Friday, July 27, 2007


I'm feeling pretty good about what I've accomplished this week. I'm in the American Diabetes Association walk planning committee again this year and we are in full swing of our planning. I had some invitations that I was to deliver this week. On Monday I organized myself and Tuesday did the deliveries. At work, I have taken on an extra role as of about 2 months ago. I'm in charge of helping my manager with the in-hospital quality improvement projects. I have one big project that I'm working on that has to be completed by the end of August. This week I was able to discuss the project with two of my team members and schedule the chart review which is the bulk of the work. I will do the chart review on Monday and get the info to my team member. And finally, I'm in charge of getting a flyer completed for a diabetes health fair in October and have it distributed. I know that doesn't sound too difficult, but it actually is quite complicated. I don't actually make the flyer myself - I have to communicate with our marketing department clearly and effectively so that THEY can make the flyer for me... But that project is nearly done as well.

It just makes me feel content to think that I'm completing my responsibilities.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Have you seen any hops?

With all the microbreweries that the Northwest is famous for, I've often wondered where all the hops comes from and what it looks like. Well, I wonder no longer. It turns out that a large portion of the high-quality hops used all over the world to make beer cames from the Yakima valley in Washington State. While we were visiting family friends there, we took a drive through the agricultural valley and passed field after field of hops towering on cables that are strewn above the fields. This is what it looks like:

The part that is harvested is the flower bud - they are green and kind of look like a cross between a bell and a pine cone. In Toppenish, WA, there is a hops museum which we perused in about an hour. There was some interesting information about how hops is used both medicinally and in beer production, and the history of hops agriculture in the valley. But, not as interestingly to me, most of the museum was old equipment that they used to use in hops farming.

Toppenish is also the "City of Murals". I don't remember how many murals there are, but they paint a new one each year. You can see that there are murals painted on the hops museum as well.


I'm eating a bowl of angel hair pasta with fresh pesto sauce I just made from the basil growing in my garden! :o)

Cast Your Vote

These four pictures are different compositions of the same view in Teton National Park. Which one do you like the best?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Here are a bunch of photos from our trip. I made the show go fast since there are a lot of pics there. If you put your cursor over a picture, you will get a brief description. You can also watch it more slowly if you want to by clicking on the button that says "view all images". Enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Fine How-do-you-do

Here are two sights that greeted us when we arrived home from our travels.

A blossoming garden.

and a bunch of baby poplar trees!

It's True!

We met Kristina! We met on Saturday night at the roof top bar at McMennamin's Hotel Oregon. Kris ordered the beer sampler tray and we all had a taste of the different styles of beer that McMennamin's offers. (Yes, even I sampled them. Some of them were okay, but I'm still not a convert.) Poor Kris and her friend Becca were exhausted from their long day of travel after a relatively sleepless night. We called it a night at about 10:30. Sunday morning we attended a Calvary Chapel church together with a nice service and a good sermon. Then we went to the best local coffee shop we could find and had the other kind of brew. It was nice to get to visit while they were more awake. What a blessing to meet one of my internet buddies. I can't wait to hear how the rest of her Oregon experiences went. T and GMJ will be taking them back to the airport on Sunday. Also, many thanks to Jennifer the bride-to-be who graciously shuttled Kris and Becca around and hung out with these people she had only just met.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Courdelaine Lake, Idaho

I know that I misspelled that, but oh well. I don't feel like looking it up right now to get it right. We leave for Yakima, WA tomorrow morning. We've had a nice time visiting family friends here in Idaho. They live in a small house right near the lake in a rural area. Yesterday we got a tour by boat across the lake and down the St. Joe river. It is really unique - this river channel goes right down the middle of two lakes for quite a while before it narrows down into your standard river banks. It is also officially designated the highest navigable lake in the world! Now I have been to both the highest navigable lake (Lake Titicaca between Peru and Bolivia) and river in the world!

Today we went by car through the beautiful state park, which I learned is the oldest one in the Pacific Northwest. There is a rails to trails bike path that runs for 72 miles from near the Montana border nearly all the way across the panhandle of Idaho. It runs along the lake here, so we saw several sections of it by car as we crossed it. It would be a fun one to ride on as it is mostly downhill if you start in the right place.

Our hosts here have two schnauser dogs and they are really cute and entertaining. One of them is rather reserved and I have just won over her affections today but we are leavning tomorrow! Well, I guess that's about it for now.

Here's the biggest piece of news... Denis and I are going to extend our vacation by one day so that we can meet Kristina in McMinnville on Saturday evening. We have booked a room at the McMennamin's hotel there in town. It is owned by the same brothers who own the Kennedy School where we stayed in Portland last month. We so enjoyed that place, so we are really looking forward to having another stay. It is going to be so great to meet one of my internet buddies! Woo hoot!

Friday, July 06, 2007


Hi there, everyone! I'm writing from our hotel in Missoula, MT. This is the first place where we have had access to a good internet connection. So far, we've had a great visit with friends in Boise. We listened to some live music during breakfast and in the evening while we were there. Our friends lent some great conversation and were excellent hosts.

Jackson was very crowded and touristy, but very pretty. We had lots of time to visit with family - adults and kids alike. Yesterday (Thursday), we caravaned through Grand Teton National Park which was gorgeous.

And today we arrived in Missoula. We just got back from a fancy-schmancy dinner in the historic district of town. It was really delicious - roasted califlower and celery soup, grilled mixed seafood with jalapeno cream and smoked tomato sauces and creme brulee for desert. I could barely stand up at the end of the meal. Tomorrow we are going to go to the farmer's market and see what else we can find to do. It's been really hot and tomorrow is supposed to be 92, so we may try to be indoors...

Well, I guess that's about all to tell for now.