Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My car just broke down and I think I have the flu x-( As there is nothing I can do about the car till morning, and nothing I can do about the flu at all, I'm feeling frustrated and powerless. Poo poo poo bum. Lol. I can't say Poo poo poo bum with a straight face. But still. Poo.

On the up side, my sweet mother is putting a frozen pizza in the oven for my dinner while I sit here and pout electronically. Isn't she a gem? :) I scored in the mom department.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I heart Oregon

I love where I live. I think it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I suppose I'm biased. I've lived lots of places and have found beauty everywhere I've been, but some places it takes work to find it. Here it's just there, everywhere you look. Lucky me :)

Of course, Oregon's got nothing on New Zealand. Sorry if that makes me unpatriotic, but so it is. NZ is the only place I've ever come back from and thought home looked a bit drab.

I should be at church. I don't know what's wrong with me. I have a really hard time going lately. Actually, I know exactly what my problem is, but it's no excuse. My problem is that I work 6 days a week in the service industry, smiling and being polite to strangers all day. I should mention that I'm an introvert, so this requires effort on my part. The last thing I want to do on my day off is to go into a crowd of people and smile and make small talk, even if it's loving, supportive people like my ward. I just want some solitude. But that's selfish, and I should just get over myself and go. It's not as though I don't believe in the gospel. I do. I know church is where I should be, that it would do me good, that I'd be happier if I went, that work would seem less onerous to me. So why am I still here?


I wish I'd had more energy to enjoy Bologna. It's a lovely city and a half day at the end of an action packed holiday isn't the best way to appreciate it's charms. I'd have liked to have had more time to wander the streets and soak in the beauty, and of course, more time to photograph.

San Luca, glowing gorgeously above the city.

The porticoes, with which I became obsessed. Such variety of shape and color. Love love love.

This was my favorite. I like the curve of light and the change of color.

I took quite a fancy to this statue of Neptune. It's so wonderfully bizzare. Every demigod needs a harem of mermaids with spurting bosoms to support him.

Isn't he gorgeous?

This made me giggle, although I can't take credit for the original thought. I believe it was Mike who first called it Schindler's lift.

Friday, September 25, 2009


The Voldemort Tree

This tree grows in front of my house, next to the carport. It's the first thing people see when they arrive at the house.

Notice anything odd about it? I call it the Voldermort tree because it has another being growing out the back of it's head. For years it was just a normal Alberta pine, but about a year ago I noticed that some of the branches had mutated. It took me awhile to realize that it was a whole other tree growing out the top of the alberta pine. (I looked under it's skirt :o The trunk goes all the way to the ground.) How it got there I don't know. I couldn't believe a fir had been able to survive long enough without light, growing inside the thick foliage of the original tree, to finally break through the top. I know I need to do something about it, and the longer I leave it the worse it will be for the two trees. I don't think both can survive, and I don't really like either of my options. I can cut down the alberta pine and leave the bare trunk of the new pine with it's weird spray of branches at the top, or I can cut down the interloper and leave a huge hole in the side of the alberta. Firstly, I don't kill things. I don't kill mosquitoes or houseflies or spiders. I take them outside. If I kill something there has to be a good reason, so I don't like the idea of sawing off a healthy tree for the sake of aesthetics. Secodly, it seems as though one would want to reward such perserverance. It seems a shame to kill something that has fought so hard to live. Which is why now instead of a few mutant looking branches, I have an entire extra tree. Sigh.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Haze Continues

I know. I need to stop. I'm going to get in an accident.

But I like them.

Ok, now we're just getting silly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I did something uncharacteristically unsafe today - as I drove home from work I held my camera outside the window and snapped photos all the way home. I should mention that most of this drive is conducted at 60 mph on the highway. I sadly fear I will continue this unsafe practice, because I love how they turned out. I think they're fascinating.

I love the colors and the impressionistic quality.

I'm sure I'm not the first one to do this, nor will I be the last, but it's new to me, so I'm still charmed.

This was what I was originally trying to take photos of, but they all came out blurry, even with the car stopped and my camera propped against the door frame, so I gave up and embraced the blur. But the sunset was fantastic. Yay field burning.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I liked Milan. It seemed more relaxed than the other cities we visited. Perhaps because it is somewhat off the beaten tourist path, there seemed to be more breathing room there.

The Duomo in Milan - this building took my breath away. The photos don't do it justice. It's huge!!! and fantastically beautiful. I loved the inside of Notre Dame, but the outside of this building has Notre Dame beat hands down.

The door. Looks like the baroque fairy threw up on it, eh? The entire ouside of the building is COVERED. The detail is unbelievable.

The only decent interior shot I got of the duomo. There are these awful naked bulbs all over the ceiling that make interior shooting with a puny camera like mine pointless.

The roof :)

My favorite gargoyle. Isn't he cute?

My mother hates this photo. I like it :D Dunno why.
Tomorrow - Venice.

Monday, September 21, 2009


In late June I took a long anticipated holiday. I mean LONG anticipated, like since birth. I've wanted to see more of Europe since I knew what Europe was, so it was a dream come true, and the fact that I got to share it with my very mellow, perfect travelling companion friend Gail made it that much more fabulous. The only fly in the ointment was that it wasn't a year long holiday, but rather 10 short days. We went to Paris, and then Gail showed me around northern Italy, where she was living at the time.

I'd like to post some photos, but I don't want to dump 200 images on you all at one whack, and I can't figure out how to make a photo album link on the sidebar, so I think I'll maybe go by cities. Brace yourself for a snoozefest of someone else's holiday photos ;) Let's start with...


La Tour Eiffel - she is just as impressive in person as she is in photos. Elegant and gorgeous. We were so happy to go to the top, and we only had to wait 3 hours in line to get there!

I was obsessed with these arches. I took fifty billion photos of them. I heart them.

The gates at Versailles - as close as we got. The line was obscenely long and it was about a billion degrees outside. I was disappointed to miss renting a golf cart to speed around the grounds, but we did have lunch in the village with the world's snootiest waiter, which amused us greatly. My mum said this looked like the gates of Heaven :)

The Musee d'Orsay - so much cooler than the Louvre. I LOVED it here. Must return someday.

Notre Dame - Quasimodo needs new digs because I want to move in here.

I was surprised by how much color there was inside Notre Dame. I had expected the color scheme to me more like...

Love the arches, love the candles, love the columns. Sigh. Wonder what the rent would be... probably costs a fortune to heat.
Tune in tomorrow for the continuing saga.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Today I am desperately homesick for New Zealand. I miss my life there, my friends, my seminary students, my ward. I miss the sense of accomplishment and purpose being a student brought to my life. I miss being in daily association with people who I knew loved me, who were true friends to me even though we are not related. Although I am much closer to my family here, which I enjoy and appreciate, I am lonely. I miss my dear friends. And the real tragedy is that I am homesick for a life that no longer exists. I can't return there and step back into things as they were. People have moved on. I've finished my degree. My students are grown. So I need to quit whining and find joy where I am. My advice to you, boys and girls, is: Don't travel. Never leave home. Befriend only those whose roots are planted in the same soil as yours. Otherwise you will end up like me, with pieces of your heart in the four corners of the Earth. You'll never feel truly and completely at home. Someone's absence will always pain you. Once you leave home, you'll never be content again.