Sunday, July 30, 2006

Family, family and more family

My grandmother's funeral yesterday went really well. It was nice to see all the people that came. And boy, was there a lot of family! Last night the family went out for dinner, and there were 25 of us, not counting the small children. We went to the Salmon House, which if you're ever in Vancouver you should definitely go to! Last time I went there was fabulous, and this time was the same. I had the maple cider smoked salmon. Mmmmm. I got to spend time with several cousins I have not seen in years. This morning we had 15 people over for I was very ready for some quiet time with just my parents this afternoon.

My mom and I went to Taiga Works and Mountain Equipment Co-op to get some technical clothing for her for our Peru trip. Only 5 weeks away!!!! Ulp! Heading back to Bend tomorrow morning. I think I'm going to go down I-5 to Seattle and then across on the 90 to Ellensburg/Yakima and down. It's such a nice drive, and since I'm not in a rush I just want to putter and take my time. And that way I also get to stop in Thorp at the antique mall for their fabulous soups! Mmm. Gotta stock up.

I've got some great family pictures, but I'll have to upload them when I'm back in Bend. Yesterday, after the funeral but before dinner I got our for a road ride with my brother, cousin Louise, Julia and Julia's boyfriend Jason. My sister-in-law ran with Kai in a stroller, so that Louise could use her bike. It was just really nice to get out there and do something active after having sat in the car all day Friday, then such an emotional morning Sat. It was a nice ride. Got some pics of that too.

Oh yea, and I had those neurological tests on Friday morning...ick! Most were really easy and didn't make me nauseas, but the last one...whooeee! Not fun! They stick this thing in your ear that forces in cold and then hot water. It's designed to make you dizzy and try and isolate where my issues are coming from. My right ear was uncomfortable and made me a bit dizzy, but when she did the left ear...!!!!!! It was horrible. I cried. It made me so dizzy I had to hold the table with one hand and my head with the other 'cause it felt like it was going to fall off! It was not fun! But hopefully this will help them figure this out. What a pain.

Alright, off to spend a bit more time with family!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Evidently my nephew Kai is learning to feed himself. He's got a ways to go! :)

I'll get to see him again this weekend. I'm driving to Vancouver tomorrow morning for my grandmother's funeral. I'm not really that sad, because she was 92, she had a great life, and she wanted to be done and join Opa again. She's no longer in pain and now we have the opportunity to celebrate her life. Here's hoping it goes well!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Day in the Life of a Librarian

Now, the following isn't actually my day...but it may as well be! I love being a librarian. I love what I do, and I know I'm incredibly lucky. Not only have I found a profession I'm good at (and while I may be self-deprecating in other areas, I KNOW I'm a great librarian), but I enjoy it too. However, there are many things they didn't tell us in our masters program. Like how to plunge a toilet, what to do with weapons in the library, how to respond to a patron who asks you if you like Satan...but I think my co-worker in Bend has had quite a spectacular couple days. Judge for yourself:

"I have to share with everyone the truly unbelievable week we are experiencing here at Bend.

Monday. The llamas rebelled and did not adhere to their owner's promise that they "NEVER" poop and pee when they visit, because they only do it where other llamas do it. Both llamas pooped and peed several times, and then, of course, walked on it. Last night, on Z21, they interviewed a cute little girl who was at the presentation, and she said, "And the best part was when they pooped!" We had about 120 people in the room, 80% of which were under the age of 5, so every time they come to story time from now on that's what they'll remember about the Brooks Room.

Tuesday. At Toddlin' Tales today I had an "over the top" experience. In the middle of my second story a mother took her 2-year-old son to the back of the room, whipped out a potty chair from her bag, and sat him on the potty chair. She continued to chat with him, encouraging him to do his business, while I stumbled and bumbled through the story, absolutely astounded that I was seeing what I was seeing. I kept imagining a room full of 20 toddlers, all of whom are sitting on potty chairs while I read stories! I ended my story time rather abruptly, walked up to the lady (who had by now returned with her son) and said, "Did you know there is a bathroom in the back of the room?" "Oh, yes, I know," she said, "but he's not really comfortable in bathrooms. He's being potty trained this week so..." I said, a bit snappishly, "For sanitary reasons he needs to be in the bathroom." (I was hoping she hadn't watched Z21 the night before.) She responded with a rather huffy, "Oh, all right."

Then, while I was at lunch, a mother reported that she had sat on one of our giant bears and her leg and shorts got all wet. She was sure someone had peed on the bear. The bear is now in storage until it dries out.

So, here's what I have to say: IT'S ONLY TUESDAY!! WHAT COULD BE NEXT?"

Hee hee. I can laugh, 'cause I wasn't there! I have the llamas in Sunriver August 7th though...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ripin' weekend!

Wow, that was a FUN weekend! I'm incredibly tired, sore and bruised, but exhilarated. I attended the Sugoi Dirt Series clinic here in Bend. Pine Mountain Sports sponsored them, with the Bellas being the "presenters." It was a pricey clinic...but worth every single penny. I didn't take any pictures, 'cause I was too busy trying to learn as much as I could! However, this amazing photographer, Michael Cain was there all weekend taking a ton of photos (on his site currently, you can see one of the clinics from 2005). We'll be getting a link to those pics once he has them up. I'll let you know if there are any good ones of me. I hope so. I gotta say, I tried, and succeeded on things that I never thought I'd even try.

I did skinnies (planks, cornered planks) a couple bridges on an afternoon ride, I successfully did the teeter-totter...over and over and over again! I found that it was so much easier than I thought. I'm really proud of myself! Then today I did high-speed cornering and then on our afternoon ride we went out and concentrated on this narly rock thingie. Michael was there snapping pics of us there, so I'll have to leave my descriptions until you can see it for yourself.

I had a fabulous time, and I think everyone else did who participated had a great time too. Everyone learned something, and some of us learned a whole LOT of things! :) Can you tell that I'm totally psyched? :) :) :) Sure, I have about 32 bruises, quite a few cuts...but I also now have a whole toolkit of skills.

Things really clicked for me this weekend. I'm finally becoming the rider my bike deserves! :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Visiting friends

I didn't go visit friends, I had friends visiting. One of my best friends Sylvia and her husband Spiro were visiting for a couple days from Vancouver BC. We had a great time! Accomplished a lot in the few days they were here. I was also dog sitting for some friends; they have six little dogs! Yes, I did say six! But they're all so sweet.

Here you can see Bella in the front, behind her is Baby Girl, Berney and Sara.

Here is Chow Chow standing on Spiro (shh, don't tell the other puppies, but Chow Chow is my favourite!), Berney on the couch (sorry Lisa and Yvonne! I forgot!), Baby Girl on the floor again and Blue Blue bonding with Sylvia. She wanted to take Blue Blue home.

Later that day we walked up Pilot Butte. Spiro is applying to the VPD, so he ran up it to prove that he could be a macho police occifer! :P Man, we live in SUCH an amazingly beautiful place!

Every Sunday I play Ultimate Frisbee with a gang from the library. We're not part of the league... they wouldn't let us in! We're not great, but we have a ton of fun! I dragged Syl and Spiro along, but they just watched. Here I'm collapsing with laughter after Todd nearly took Cheryl's head off! It really was very funny! :)

And here, on the very last morning, Loki of course warms up to them. She can be a bit stand-offish. But once she's used to you and decides she likes you, you can't get her off you! That was pretty much Spiro's predicament here.

All in all we had a great visit. Too short, but better than nothing. And they'll definitely be back. Oh yea, on Monday we floated the river...twice! That was fun too. But I took no pictures. I would have dropped the camera in the river, no doubt!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pics from the 4th of July in Hood River

Here are a couple pictures from my 4th of July in Hood River. My brother is a big windsurfer. In fact, for his and Jennifer's honeymoon they went to Hawaii so Randal could windsurf! They rented a 2 bedroom condo in downtown Hood River. So it was the three of them (Randal, Jennifer & Kai) my parents Heiko and Uta, myself and my friend Jennifer. And then of course their assorted friends who dropped by. It was a rather crazy weekend, but fun. It really was great to see my family, especially Kai.

Here we are saying hello after not seeing each other for about five months.

Here are the three boys, Randal, Kai and my dad Heiko sitting on the couch watching either the Tour or World Cup.

Kai learning about the boom.

It's a windsurfing boy!

I think this might be my favourite picture! Kai was fast asleep. Hands behind his head.

There will be more pictures, but my dad hasn't been able to download them yet. Evidently my mom did something to the computer....


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Goodbye Oma :(

My grandmother passed away yesterday at 93 years old. She's been in a nursing home since last year, and has been steadily going downhill in the past several months. But as you can see below she did get a chance to see her great-grandson Kai. She had an amazing life. But we'll still miss her. Bye Oma. Hope you're at peace now with Opa, who I know you really missed.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Valentine's performing pigs

At the library today, as part of our summer reading program "Paws, Claws, Scales & Tales" we had Valentine's Performing Pigs. They were FABULOUS! They've been performing all week in the Deschutes Public Libraries and this was their last performance. The pigs were so cute, and the kids had a great time. Poor Bend though, people were quite mean and rude to the staff. At some point we need to cut it off, for safety reasons. We can be in serious trouble with the fire department if we're over-capacity. People will yell at you, call you names and generally just treat you like dirt. In front of their children. Nice! I had a woman call me at 8:30 this morning and tell my that she "god damn better get into this performance." Nice way to start your day. Sigh. But it went well. And look, aren't they just the cutest?

Here's Snort fetching his piggy bank.

This is a new baby pig they have. She was sooooo cute!

More of Valentine's Performing Pigs

Slam dunk! This one is Snort. He also played hockey, danced and rode a scooter.

Here he is on his scooter.
The room was packed, but we did manage to fit everyone in.
Here's Petunia rolling a barrel. Petunia smelled like maple syrup. She has ever since she was born, evidently.
A close-up of Snort.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Going for a walk

The other night I tried to walk to Safeway, because it's only a few blocks away and it seems silly to drive there. So I head out, through the "wild" area between me and Simpson. I get down to about the entrace to the mobile home park that's just below me when I hear meowing. I turn around, and there are Dread and Loki! Silly beans! I couldn't just keep walking because they would keep following...and I have to cross 14th. I'm not sure they'd sit and stay outside Safeway like a dog would either.

Dread was the instigator, I could tell. He used to follow me and Pepper on walks when we lived in Vancouver & Vernon. Both he and Boston did. They'd stalk us from the bushes, charge us, streak out ahead and then hide until we were passed. And then do it all over again. Guess he's missed that. Loki however, really wasn't sure about this idea. But since Dread was going....

I ended up driving to Safeway. They don't follow the car! :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You can only put 5 pictures in a I had to do two. And of course this is the second installation. So go down a bit and read the post titled Iron Mountain hike before this one. Go... now! Read this part after!

Here's April at the top of the ridge as well. Again, these just don't show you how beautiful it was. I realize now that I actually took no pictures of wildflowers. Huh. The others did though. Maybe that's what I didn't.

Here's coming up on the forest ranger station at the top of Iron Mountain. This structure completely blew off the peak in 1977 and had to be replaced by helicopter. And this is where we had lunch.

This is the view from up at the top, looking out in the opposite direction from Cone Mountain. You can't really tell, but the dropoff is literally 5 feet from where I'm standing. I'm not the best with heights...good thing I'm going to Machu Picchu!

And just for fun, this is my sweaty bum-print! Hee hee hee. I said it was hot! And there's the proof! :) When we got up to leave...this is the sweat that had pooled under me. Gross, I know, I know. But I thought...ok, I still think it;s hilarious. I cant be mature all the time! The spot next to it is where my sweaty backpack was sitting. I told you it was hot!

Finally, here are Tonya and April checking out the hike in the guidebook...after the hike. April, you look all sweaty. Did I mention it was hot on the hike? :)

Iron Mountain hike

I hiked Cone & Iron mountain again this weekend. Less than two months until I leave! Ahhh! It was fun...but HOT! Last time I did great, this time I got charlie horses in my calves within about 1/2 an hour. And of course, once I get them it's really hard to get rid of 'em. I just wasn't hydrating like I should have.

So with me went April, Robin, Kristin, Yvonne, Lisa, Morgan, Tonya and then 3 dogs. Marley, Baby Girl and Bella. Here are Kristin, Robin and Marley in the van on the way up. Marley was quite upset that Robin was sitting in his seat!

The wildflowers this time were just as wonderful! There seemed to be more purples and yellows and fewer red flowers. We didn't have an identification book, but we did our best. In other words we mentioned any wildflower we knew! I couldn't believe how busy it was on the trail. I have NEVER seen that many people there...there was barely any room left in the Tombstone trailhead parking lot. Sheesh!

This is a picture of Morgan and Baby Girl (and me off to the left). Baby Girl is a tiny little Chihuahua, but man, she just trucked along on the trail. The other little dog that Yvonne, Morgan and Lisa brought is a Brussels Griffon...but very small for the breed. At this point we've just come out of the forest into the huge wildflower fields that cover the sides of Cone Mountain.

Here's the view from the saddle between Cone and Iron mountains. That's Cone Mountain on the left. Next time maybe instead of continuing up Iron Mountain I should do Cone Mountain! It's elevation is quite a bit higher.

We stopped at the top of the ridge between Cone and Iron Mountains for a water and snack break. This is Morgan on the left, Lisa and then Yvonne. Bella is the brown little one and there's Baby Girl again. These guys headed back shortly after this. The dogs did really really well, but poor Baby's feet were getting a bit thrashed. That and I had not been clear about just how far a drive it was! Sorry guys! :( At least they got to see this view. The pictures can't really show you how amazing it is.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed!

Happy Monday! Yea right. So my car died this morning. Totally. Completely. Only way to fix it is to replace the engine...or buy a new car. Yea, like that's going to happen! So, fix the engine it is! If anyone has seen anything in my house (besides the bikes!) that they like...I'll probably sell it to you! :) Or, you can commission me to make you any number of necklaces, earrings or bracelets that you can pay for!!! :P

Sigh. I'm working from home today, but I have some FABULOUS friends that have loaned me a car for as long as it takes me to get my subaru fixed. Thank you Thane and Julie, you two are the best! Needless to say, I haven't gotten to Sunriver, to work yet...and that's where my camera downloading stuff is. I hiked Iron Mt again this last Sat with some friends, so I'll get those pics up as soon as possible. I'm still waiting on others for pictures from my long weekend!

Then Sunday I watched the World Cup final. Wasn't that insane??? Poor stupid Zidane! Now his entire career is going to be shadowed by that head-but. What was he thinking?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Loooong weekend!

Phew, that was a long, but good weekend! Today, 'cause I'm tired, dirty and stinky I'll just start with Friday. That and I don't have the pics yet from the rest of the weekend! :)

So Friday I hung out with a bunch of friends. Below is a pic of Terra and her dog Lilly. It's not Lilly's birthday...She just likes wearing a birthday hat. Makes her feel special. The story of Terra and Lilly is quite amazing:

Terra has wanted a dog for a while. Back in the fall Terra had a dream and when she woke up she painted it. The paintings are of a golden lab or retriever-type dog and one of Terra and the dog by a work desk. In the dream Terra was being "interviewed" and was asked why she started this business. She answered that she needed a place to work where she could bring her dog Lilly. Terra forgot about the dream and just put the paintings in a file cabinet.

Then in December her co-worker asks Terra if she still wants a dog, because her friend has a dog named Lilly that they just can't take care of anymore. Well, what clearer sign could Terra have that Lilly was meant for her!

This is not the first time Terra has had dreams that come true. So everyone there promptly told Terra what they'd like her to dream...and what NOT to dream! :) I'll have to ask her if I'm going to get mine....