just like old times

Back in the 1990s we were quite the crew around Portland… before babies, demanding jobs and opportunities that took us to different states, hell even different countries! A few of us have made it back to Portland, but we don’t have nearly the same amount of free time we had in the carefree 90s. So getting together is rare and therefore much more of a treat. (Case in point, Guido wasn’t even in town for the first part of the evening. He flew in from Washington after testifying to a Senate subcommittee on the Pacific Salmon Stronghold Conservation Act, landed at 11 p.m., and came straight from the airport!)

Well we had reason to celebrate when we heard that Cyd and Geoff were rolling into town for one night only. Having not made it back permanently to Oregon (how could they leave their beautiful place in Montana) they are only able to grace us with their presence once in a blue moon. Well the moon turned blue last Friday when Meggins and Tom hosted an extraordinary dinner party at their home to welcome Cyd and Geoff back to Portland and to celebrate Tom’s momentous birthday – the big 50!

It promised to be a wonderful evening for sure. But, and I know I speak for everyone there, it surpassed all of our expectations by a mile. There’s something about old friends, good food, and wonderful hosts that can make a special gathering a night to remember. And it was just that! We all completely forgot what time it was amidst the smiles and laughter and I know a few sheepish parents had to beg forgiveness from their babysitters when they arrived home after midnight. Ah, but it was worth it! Friends always are.

The blondes together again for one night only! Tricia, Brett, Emily, Cyd, and Lee.

What a spread! Meggins is putting the finishing touches on the salad!

Geoff, Tricia, Lee and Meggins chatting away!

The flyfishermen reunite! Guido, Tom and Geoff.

Cyddie entertaining us all!

happy 40th birthday teddy

It’s been a wonderful 20 plus years of friendship! From the art studios at Lewis & Clark College to our thrifty young artist years filled with First Thursdays and Sunday Night Disco to trips to California and Vegas and the Alvord Desert. Happy Birthday Teddy!

thar she blows

Nearly thirty years ago I experienced a major volcano exploding in my “backyard” but I have to say that the recent eruptions in Iceland make Mt. St. Helens look like a high school science experiment. This photo was taken by a local farmer shortly after Eyjafjoll’s most recent eruption. As a photographer I can only imagine capturing something this dramatic on film.

Eyjafjoll’s ash is making its way around the world and tying up airports all over Europe. I’m glad I’m not flying through London today. The ash from Mt. St. Helens traveled great distances too with a good portion of it landing on my house and neighborhood. It looked like grey snow when it fell on that mid-May day.

Of course as budding little entrepreneurs my brother and I opened up an “ash” stand to sell, much like lemonade, something that everyone already had plenty of. That fact was, of course, lost on us. We had plenty of something cool so why not sell it.

Needless to say we ended up with a few too many jars of the stuff in our garage. I wish I could say we still have a few jars left, but over the years it got pulled out and examined and played with and little by little we lost nearly all of it. Ahh, but to have experienced an active volcano was something I’ll never forget. Though it’s a little early – here’s to the 30th anniversary of Mt. St. Helens most dramatic eruption.

Image courtesy: msnbc.com and zuma press


Thank God I didn’t wear sweats to the office is all I could think about when I arrived at Ted and Tara’s house on Friday night under the ruse that we were going to enjoy a “quiet” night at home cooking dinner and playing Scrabble. I should have guessed something was afoot when I saw Ted’s cheetah inspired platform boots.

Only moments later I learned we were going out! At this point I’m still thinking it’s just the three of us. But then as the night went on Ivy showed up, and then Jay and Sarah, and then Renne all the way from Sequim, Washington, and finally Lee, Guido and their three boys. We commandeered a large corner table at Por Que No (not an easy feat to be sure) and then proceeded to eat yummy tacos, drink margaritas and be entertained by Ted who had the Rahr boys captivated and us in stitches.

About halfway through the night I was given day glow jewelry that could only mean one thing – 80s night at the Crystal Ballroom! It was like old times! And when I say old times I mean the early 90s when Ted, Renne and I frequented Portland’s dance clubs and shut many of them down every single weekend, especially Sunday night disco at the Lotus. We were all young artists who didn’t need to be in an office on Monday morning so what better way to end our weekends!

Anyway, the Crystal Ballroom was packed and so we danced ’til midnight to some choice 80s music – including many one-hit wonders (Safety Dance anyone?!?). I couldn’t have planned a better beginning to my 40th birthday celebration weekend.

a lovely little package

A lovely little tin packed a big punch on my 40th birthday thanks to my immensely talented friend Anne. She oozes creativity out of every one of her pores and I’m always amazed at what she comes up with. Fortunately I was the recipient of her latest creation – a beautiful cake that she baked, decorated and then shipped 3000 miles from Connecticut to Oregon.

It took me a while to taste it since I just couldn’t bear to cut into the cake right away. But my sweet tooth eventually won out and I just enjoyed a little slice of heaven.

Ahhh, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. First, Anne outdid even herself with a birthday party for her daughter Ella who turned five this week. Her blog features that party and so many other recent creative endeavors. Prepare to be inspired.

Second, I was treated to an amazing array of celebrations this weekend thanks to my friends, especially Tara for organizing a surprise night out and Tricia for hosting an incredible cocktail party. I’m still in awe over how much fun we had at Por Que No, sore from the 80s night dance party at the Crystal Ballroom, and dreaming about the citrus infused cocktails we consumed. 40 is fabulous!