Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cruise Photos part deux

I did promise to post the rest of the photos from my cruise... last year... heh heh.  So here they are:


We arrived in Ketchikan very early in the morning and had lovely weather and lovely views of the harbor.

I quite liked Ketchikan.  It was very quaint and charming, the little bit of it we saw.  We had time for multiple excursions but we wanted to do different things, so Gab headed off for a wilderness adventure and I trotted off to the lumberjack show.  I had very strict instructions from the ladies at work not to come back without lots of photos and I did not disappoint.  I took over 400 during that one hour.  I won't toy with your patience by posting all of them, but here are a few.

As well as being extremely easy on the eyes, these guys are actually all real lumberjacks who work for real logging firms and compete in real lumberjack competitions throughout the year.  Working at this cheesy little tourist attraction in Alaska and competing every day gives them much needed practice in the off season, apparently.

After the lumberjack show, I boarded a bus and headed to Totem Bight State Park, where they've made an effort to preserve the abandoned totem poles on the island.

If I had blogged about this right after I got home I could have told you what all the various animals mean and related stories about each pole... but alas, now I can't remember.  If you're really interested I'm sure the park website has information.  Lol.  I do remember our guide telling us about the last pole pictured here. The master carver, when asked why he chose to carve the fish sideways on top of a square pole instead of choosing the more traditional style, replied, "for the halibut".  Yes, I know.  Groan.


We were only in Victoria for a few hours.  Like 3.  We were delayed arriving, so the amphibious bus tour we had scheduled became unavailable, and there were very few other options, so we ended by going on a horse drawn carriage ride through Victoria in the evening.  I didn't get many photos, nor did we frankly get a very good look at much of anything in the dark, but it was still a lovely night to be out and about in Canada, and our guide was adorable.  It was quite breezy and a bit nippy after the sun went down and there was a group of geriatrics in the rows behind us who were disgruntled about the difficulty seeing anything.  Their comments got snarkier and ruder as the ride wore on and our lovely guide took it all with good humor and grace.  She answered them kindly and ignored their rudeness.  We learned that she was a native of Victoria putting herself through college.  I thought she was a great example for the kids on the ride, who were cuddled up next to her enjoying being close to the horses.  I don't remember her name but she was very impressive.  The horses were also lovely :)

That's the end of my photos.  I suppose I should have some pithy summation of Alaska or cruises or something relevant... but I don't.   I'm ready for another trip!

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I suppose I should probably do some sort of update about actual life events.  Let's see... 

Eclectic NW:  that retail shop that was going to sell my book art that I was so excited about turned out to be a complete fiasco.  They were only open for about a month, they didn't return any of the 3 months worth of rent all the 200 vendors paid to get the thing started, they destroyed about half of my very fragile inventory.  I will never do retail again.  At least not like that.  I so appreciate Paige at Pegasus Gallery here in Corvallis.  She has always been very gentle with my stuff and very respectful and supportive of me.  

The flower shop:  A little over a year ago, I sold my half to my business partner's husband and now they run it together and are doing very well.  It was just too much for me to do that and have a full time job.  I was spread too thin and shortchanging everyone, most of all myself, so for my own health and sanity, I happily walked away. 

Bus driving:  At the end of last year I quit driving city transit and took a training course to become a driver education instructor.  I've always liked the idea of teaching people to drive, particularly a defensive driving program that makes the roads safer for everyone.  I know what it's like to lose someone to a car collision, and if I can keep that from happening to just one person ever because they were driving defensively, my life will not have been in vain.  I now do behind the wheel instruction through Linn Benton Community College.  Yay :)

Gall bladder:  a little over a month ago I went to the ER with severe abdominal pain and all the fun excretions that come with that situation.  They did an ultrasound and found a MASSIVE gall stone.  They admitted me to the hospital, where I languished for 4 days while they bumped my surgery time and again for more pressing cases that came through the doors.  Gunshot wounds, exploding appendixes... I guess I'll allow it.  Anyway, they finally removed my gall bladder and the enormous stone it contained.  Did I mention that it was big?  The doctor said it was the largest he'd ever removed, so yay me!  I win :)  If you want to see a photo, go here:

Bryant Book

I haven't been doing much book folding lately because frankly, I don't have anywhere to put them.  But I was missing it, and also the gallery that shows my work has a poetry in art exhibit every April, so I produced a few new ones.  I tried something new to me and I think it turned out pretty cool, if I do say so:

 I love the top view too.  You can't see it in the photo, but the edges are gilt and shiny :)

This is a pseudo-replica of a book folded by a fellow etsy dealer, who I greatly admire.  She doesn't do much folding anymore, but is concentrating on her watercolor art, which is beautiful and which you can see here:

Tulip Farm

My brother and our niece and I went to visit a tulip farm in Woodburn last week.  We got lucky and happened to be there during the only sunny 45 minutes of the entire day.  (We were there longer than 45 minutes, but we also got rained on and very windswept.)  We all took many photos.  Here are a few of the best of mine.  

These tractors are wood fueled.  That means as you sit and drive your tractor through the fields, periodically you are required to reach behind you and grab a log out of the box to your right, open the door to the furnace, which is RIGHT BETWEEN YOUR LEGS and throw the log on the fire in order to keep the tractor moving forward.  Yikes.  They say these machines are all still operational and they fire them up every weekend. They don't make them like they used to, eh?

 I love this photo of my niece :)  She's adorable.

Pink tractor.

These look like peonies, but they are in fact tulips.  Want.

 I think a good time was had by all, in spite of the 15 degree drop in temperature and gale force winds that eventually drove us from the farm to the more sheltered confines of the chocolate store at the outlet mall 5 miles away :D