Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Catcher In The Rye

As the new year approached, Greg and I sat and discussed some goals that we wanted to work on. One of them for both of us was to read more. And to take it a step further, that once we read a book, we should record it and do book report, which will be more like reviews, here on our blog. I liked this idea because it will kind of memorialize all the books I read. Before going out and buying some (which is one of my favorite things to do) I’ve decided to first read all of the books on our shelves that have been begging to get read. I’ve got quite a few to get through- let me tell you. I’ll also start using to track these books I’m reading. I seem to always forget about that account, but I must start using it as it is quite handy. My user name is AndreaRoyal – if you want to friend me, I’d love to see what you are reading too!

I decided to first start with a classic that somehow never ended up in the curriculum of any of the public schools I attended: The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger. The only thing I had heard about this book is how much of a controversy it was. I thought it was going to be all anarchy and rage against the machine type of book. However, it was not. I was at first a little dumbfounded as to why in the world it would ever be controversial, and also, at first I wasn’t sure it was even going anywhere. But I quickly came to like the protagonist, Holden Caufield. He is just your average teenager who is totally disenchanted with humanity and his life. You realize that he is just a really good, and kind of heartbroken, lost kid.  By the end of it, I had wished I had read it when I was a teenager. I could have totally related to him then. And I think that is why it is such a classic… many teens feel those feelings he describes. All in all, I liked it, and I’m glad I read it. I give it three out of five stars! ***

Have you ever read it? How would you rate it?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Year - Welcome 2013 
Crazy. Does anyone else think....I remember in the 90's when the year 2013 was pictured with flying cars and trips to space? Where are the flying cars? That's what I want to know!

Boy was 2012 a year to remember! In fact, I think many of my posts coming up will be in review of 2012, because I was lazy and I just didn't feel like posting! Oh well. I'll call it a series of "Looking Back". I like to do that anyway. Let's review a few of the reason's 2012 was memorable - in a list - shall we?

January: Greg almost died. A head injury, brain bleed and low sodium - YIKES! I could not be more grateful to have him here, with me, and no injuries this year! Whoot! We are starting out good here folks!

March: Trip to AZ for my little sister's baby shower. I spent lots of time with the sisters and it was wonderful!

April: A pretty significant month. My nephew Jett was born. Such a cutie he is! A few scares with that as he was pretty early, but he came out with a healthy weight and quickly became the little chunker he is!
on the 30th though, my step-dad passed away unexpectedly. that sucked.

May: Drove 2 days to Snowflake, AZ to be with my mom and help out with the funeral stuff. 

June: The Dirty Dash! FUN!

July: My mom, Kristi & Jett, and my Aunt Lynn and Uncle Pat came to visit for the first time. It was way to quick, but wonderful nonetheless. At the end of the month my cousin Zac moved up here.

September: The Corvallis Fall Festival!

November: My Grandma and Grandpa and Mom came for Thanksgiving. I was ever so thankful to host and have them in my home. It felt natural, just really good having them here. We had a wonderful time and I need to dedicate a post just to that.

December: I hosted my first Christmas party with friends. Greg and I had a quiet Christmas with just the two of us, but were able to have Christmas dinner with some great friends.

Well, there you have it. Happy New Year to you! I'm looking forward to good things this year, and I hope you are too!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wrap-Up: The 40th Annual Corvallis Fall Festival

Well, I think I've made you all wait quite long enough to hear about how the Fall Festival was this year! (sorry for the almost 2 month hiatus- I literally was in hibernation) It was, of course, fantastic. Everything fell into place beautifully. The activities in the Art Discovery Zone were all free this year. I can't tell you what that means to so many kids and families. Everyone who wanted to create something could, and there was a little of something for everyone! My picture was even in the paper on Saturday,  as the GT covered the Festival from set up to take down.
To recap, I'll go with the readers digest version:

Arrived at Central Park at 8:00am, set up, lunch at 1pm, left the park at 5pm, got home, finalized Puppet activity; that night 8pm, met at Stash, went back to Central Park for a little Yarn Bombing! - there till 10pm, then down to the Whiteside Theater for the Cherry Poppin Daddies concert (who totally kill it live!) where Greg and I danced the night away until I turned into a pumpkin at 11:45pm.

Back at Central Park at 8:30am to get everything else set up and all activities organized. Meet and greet all activity providers, check in volunteers, etc. Admire beautiful artwork done by our Junior Vendors. Puppets were on Saturday this year, and it was a smash hit! Those puppets were too darn cute, and kids and parents alike had a fabulous time making them. We were down to our last few supplies by the end of the day. The other activities all went great as well. Almost too well. The much beloved Woodblock Sculpture was crazy this year! We were pretty much out of blocks on Saturday which made for some very sad kids on Sunday. By the end of the day everyone was happy and tired. We (the FF committee) were treated to lasagna and salad from Nearly Normals and then took our tired feet home for a soak.

Pick up supplies at 8am from our artist in residence for the Watch-and-Do tent. Bonnie White made paper pulp out of recycled paper and other natural fibers which kids (and parents) turned into ornament seed pods by pouring the pulp over a screen into a cookie cutter. Then they could add seeds and decorate them however they wanted. When the ornament is done being an ornament, they get it a little wet to sprout the seed, and then plant it. Cool huh? Greg was with me all day Sunday and thank goodness for him. We always struggle with finding enough volunteers on Sunday and his help was invaluable. As was Caron's husbands throughout the weekend. It was practically just the 4 of us when it was time to take everything down and pack it all up. We were rock stars and were out of there by 5:45pm. The Art Discovery Zone was once again a major success!

The Fall Festival is Corvallis's best and most beloved art fairs. I am so proud to be a part of it, and so proud to work with two amazing women putting together the Art Discovery Zone. We are a team, and we keep making things better and better. Until next year.........

 ***I've been holding this post for MONTHS! So, maybe eventually you will get pictures with it, but, I just had to get it up here so I can move on! I mean, it's Christmas now! I officially get the award for the worst consistency for blogging! ;) ***

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Calm before the Storm

Right now it's not exactly calm, but it is compared to the storm awaiting me next week! Next weekend I will be in the throws of the Corvallis Fall Festival! It's getting really busy and my check list is ever growing. And even though it seems a bit overwhelming, I am absolutely loving it! I promise to give full report of the event, with some prep photos and some at the event. Although you will have to excuse the quality of the photos; my camera's shutter decided to flake out, so my phone is now my camera. (It's getting fixed soon - I hope!) Tonight we are off to see Pretty Lights, who I hear puts on a stellar show. We'll dance the night away and then tomorrow- Fall Fest stuff! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer Highlights: The Dirty Dash

One of the most fun things I did this summer was a run. You are probably asking yourself if this is really Andrea talking, but yes, I assure you that it is. But it wasn't just any old boring run for charity. This was a MUD RUN! AND IT WAS SO FUN!!!! I've never gotten so dirty in my entire life! The only thing that would have made that day better is if Greg was there, but alas, he had to work. 

This run was down in Eugene, and it is called The Dirty Dash. Not only were there mud pits to run, and belly crawl through, it was a certifiable obstacle course! Pits to crawl under, walls to climb over, haystacks to get over, monkey bars to get across, rope ladders, tunnels, pits, slides, running, beer (or root beer) chugging, and a lot of fun and laughs along the way.

 Here we are still fresh and clean the morning of the fun run! 
Morgan, Stefanie, ME!, and Michelle

And here is the entire gang after the run! We had to rinse our hands and pull out our phones to get pictures!
Morgan, ME, Stef, Dustin, Michelle, Liz and Steve 

We were literally covered from head to toe with MUD! 
I had some big globs stuck in my hair too! 

 Michelle and I trying to get some pics of ourselves...

CLOSE  UP! (is that a booger coming out of my nose? Nope, just mud- Whew!)

Me and Stef. You can't imagine exactly how caked we were with mud. Well, maybe you can!

This is one I will definitely be doing next year - with Greg in tow - he isn't allowed to miss any more Saturday fun like this!!! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

That one day we got yelled at

Want to hear a funny story? It happened a few months ago, just as the weather was finally starting to turn nice in June. Greg and I took a bike ride through our neighborhood. I actually brought my phone along to take some pictures of some of the buildings that I love so much.

This one is the side of an antique store. I love this building. 
It makes me happy every time I go past it. 

This is the building where the incident happened. It's an old train station, doc, something. Currently it has been housing "Blackberry Junction", you know, one of those things where a whole bunch of antique selling, country crafting, 50 vendors in the house type deals that only last a weekend at a time.

But, I love this building too. It has so much visual interest. The ivy creeping on the walls. The different colors of paint everywhere. Trees coming out of the roof in the middle of the building. The windows and doors , broken and fixed, and so random. I love it! So on this day I told Greg I wanted to stop and finally take some pictures there. And so we did. I got pretty much all I wanted and as we were getting ready to leave Greg found this door in the ground. A hatch if you will. So, naturally, he is curious and lifts it up to find a huge space underneath, filled with water and pipes and other "cool things". And he starts calling to me to come and take a look because it is cool or something. And as he is calling my name to come over, I see a man round the corner of the building. He looks mad. And then he starts yelling at us! As if we are teenagers about to tag, or homeless and think we just found a home in this hole in the ground.

"Uh, we were just taking some pictures, we'll be on our way now."
"Really? I didn't know this housed anything right now. Sorry,we're leaving!"

It's funny how even as an adult, when an old man comes and starts yelling at you, for no reason (ok, well, ya maybe Greg shouldn't have opened the hatch), how it suddenly makes you feel like you are 9 years old again. I mean, I have to say, there is not a single, not one, no trespassing, or private property sign on or around the place. It isn't fenced. It actually looks welcoming for picture taking bike riders such as ourselves. All very innocent. But there it is. We got kicked off the property. But NOT before I got a few good shots. :) 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gathering Together

After one of my favorite holidays, the 4th of July, some of my very favorite people came to visit. Really, I never thought I would see the day!! And they were in and out and it was all over before I could really believe my eyes that, yes, they were in fact here, in Oregon!  My aunt Lynn, and uncle Pat did a tour of the Pacific Northwest and ended their trip in Portland. And so, somehow, we got my Mom to come out, and of course she couldn't come without my beloved sister and my newest nephew Jett. OH-MY-GOODNESS, that BOY is ADORABLE! I mean really, those cheeks, that smile, how he is so chill and cuddly. Geeze. I only wish they could have stayed longer than two days! But I'll take what I can get!

To start out their time here, Justin drove my mom and sis (along with Kaitlin of course) all the way down to my house. Once Greg got off of work, we headed out to Gathering Together Farms for dinner. If ever you have the chance to eat there, DO IT! But make sure you make a reservation. The food was Ah-Mazing! Its literally on the farm, and most of what you eat was grown there. It was my Mom's favorite meal of the trip, other than eating on another farm, which I'll get to.

Friday night Greg and I (plus Napoleon) drove up to Portland and spent the night at Justin and Kaitlin's. Boy was that a full house! Family sleepover! haha. Saturday morning we all met up with Lynn and Pat, and toured Portland's downtown Saturday Market. That place is incredibly crowded. And it was hot. And it was perfect! We all took our picks at the food carts for lunch afterwords and chilled (literally) out at Lynn & Pat's hotel room while we waited for confirmation of our next move- to Sauvie Island Organics Farm- to meet up with Mom and Lynn's cousin, Danny.  (my 3rd cousin or something like that). His wife, Shari, owns Sauvie Island Organics farm, and their place on Sauvie Island was a real treat to visit. Not only was it so fun to meet extended family, cause their two kids were also so sweet and adorable, but their property, house, back porch with the huge table, all of it, such a great experience. And then, to top off family, great company, and a great day- THE FOOD!
Kaitlin and Kristi enjoying the appetizers.

The FEAST! I find this picture beautiful and it makes my mouth water! You can't imagine how good it was. Grilled salmon, ginger pickled cabbage, curry marinated (pickled?) onion, fresh salad greens and veggies, and an abundance of fresh fruit and berries. 

Mom makin funny faces at me.

I think this was Kristi's plate. Grilled salmon, red quinoa, brown rice, ginger picked cabbage, the curried onions, salad, and that fresh fruit and berries. YUM!

Grandma time! 

Lynn showing Shari all of her and Pat's travels. They started in Vancouver, BC, then down to Seattle, WA, to Astoria, OR, and landed in Portland to fly home. 

Do you like my hat? :) hi Pat!

Mr. Milkdrunk here, just thought I'd look over cause I noticed you're taking my picture, and uh, that's cool. I'm pretty cute ain't I? 
Yes, Jett. Yes you are cute! 

This is truly a table for a gathering.



Uncle Justin 

whew, what a day! Sweetie pie Jett. :)

I can't wait for all of them to come back here! Come again soon, won't you?