Are You Famous? Your Alter Ego Might Be.

I frequently think I see random famous people, though I suspect I am mistaken much of the time. To be fair, there are a number of tv shows and movies filmed in my city, so it IS possible.

Today I saw Randy Jackson eating lunch downtown and one of the putzes from Jersey Shore was on my bus on the way home (hair gel, oversized bling and all). Perhaps the old story that everyone has a doppelganger out there is true. 

I wonder if somewhere out there is another Kaylen, but she loves dogs not cats; drinks wine, not cherry coke; she has buckets of cash in her bank account; she is probably an astro-physisist (an overrated career I'm sure).

Have you seen Sliding Doors? It's a good movie!

Somewhat related - it's about how life would be different if there was just *one* change in your day - if you caught the train instead of missing it by seconds. Your life could be infinitely different - It's not about regrets, as everything in your life leads to who you are today, but more of looking at how your life could just go a completely different way.

There are a lot of "trains" I could have missed in life that would have led to my life going in a totally different direction - what if I hadn't gotten pregnant so young? I had no direction in or out of high school, so really, having Andrew saved me. What if I hadn't gone to Korea in 2002? I wouldn't have the global perspective that I think helps me when working for the global company I just left and the one I just joined. What if I hadn't wasted 12 hours of my life watching last season of Drop Dead Diva? I would probably have a lot more done around my house....

Keeping Busy in the Real World

I've just finished the second week of my new job-so far so good! 
My team members are currently in a different location so it's just me in my office - sitting alongside 300 other employees who are all either heads-down working hard or who are part of a tight-knit group. Translation: hardly anyone talks to me. I talk to maybe one person here and there during the work day, and I've had phone conversations with someone every day, but it's soooo quiet. It's weird, coming from an office where I chatted with people every day. I knew there was something that was really hard about being the new person at work - beyond just being clueless about your job - it's the social interactions. You start over from scratch and have to make all new workplace friends. I'm not concerned about it, it takes time, but it's a lonely road in the beginning.

On the other hand, I'm right downtown now and I think I could go 2 months without eating at the same place twice. Every kind of food you can imagine is within a 10 minute walk from my building. Oh-and the mall is a few blocks away as well, so if I ever have money to go shopping-it'll be super easy! 

I saw this guy out by the mall the other day. I guess he got a signal that he should appear?

If you know anything about Portland, it's that we have a special love of a particular place calledVoodoo Doughnuts.They were actually featured on The Amazing Race one year where the clue told the teams to go where "the magic is in the hole."

They have a few regular donuts but then they have Voodoo specials. Here are some examples:

  • Old Dirty Bastard: Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s and peanut butter!
  • Captain my Captain: Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch!
  • Bacon Maple Bar: Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top!
  • Cock-N-Balls (yes, this is really a shaped donut...)
    Cock-n-balls shaped raised yeast doughnut triple filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate frosting!
Voodoo Doughnuts has a cult-like following and everyone who is anyone knows what having a pink box's the color of the donut box, a trademark way of saying you have some yummy doughnuts to share. Something else special about Voodoo is that they have a pink food truck that parks in random places around the city (and surrounding suburbs even) and they sell donuts as if it's a normal food cart. And people go ape-shit crazy over this pink food truck. I work just down the road from the actual store - and this pink food truck showed up just before lunch and there was a line for the 45 minutes I was having lunch across the street. People were lining up for DOUGHNUTS. It's just madness. 

I've crocheted two more hats in the last two weeks. It doesn't actually take a week to make a hat, it probably takes about 3 hours or so, but I only sit down and crochet for about 30-40 minutes at a time. Some of you know that I have had achy wrists in the past - probably stemming from 2 decades of careers that have involved typing all day - so I baby my achy wrists and limit repetitive motions when I can. 

Anyway, I made one simple brown hat with a little green trim (it looks crooked in the picture but it's not!):

Then I realized that the green actually looks like a color of a little green character I know from a much-beloved movie. And Andrew encouraged me to make a yoda hat....for the cats. It only took a small bit of yarn and less than an hour (once I figured out where to make the ear holes). Neither cat really loves it, but it will make for great Halloween pictures if I make a little yoda-like robe to go with it. Here's Ginger modeling the finished look:

The string on the left eventually became a fastener around the neck., you know-in case it gets windy and the hat nearly blows away.
I planted some purple pepper seedlings MONTHS ago and kept them on a special seedling heat pad, under a heat lamp, for a fair amount of time, loving them very tenderly, insisting that they grow big and strong and provide something wonderful for me later this year.  Lately, they have been spending some time getting used to being outside and I finally planted them in the garden. I had enough so that I could plant a few in two of my new beds and a few in my old beds - to see where they might grow best. Cross your fingers - I really want these to be productive plants!!

Speaking of gardening - I pulled some of the red potatoes out of the garden that I planted from potato starts last winter. Red potatoes are naturally smaller than white potatoes...but this is a wee bit ridiculous. 

Wrong Number Texting Fun

I rarely ever get a text from the wrong number, but did the other day-finally!! And I was READY!!!

Incoming text is in yellow. 
My responses are in blue.

A Beautiful Summer Day

Yesterday was the most gorgeous of days in the Pacific Northwest. Slightly hot, but not TOO hot. A nice breeze here and there. The most amazing blue sky, with white fluffy clouds floating above.
We FINALLY pulled our hammock out and Andrew spent some time basking in the sun. Mr. I Don't Need Sun Tan Lotion is a pretty shade of pale pink right now. Does anyone ever listen to their mother??

I headed off to a local dog park and trail for a walk with my favorite miniature schnauzer and his momma.

My pal, Reggie
Reggie is a sideways runner - it makes him special, yeah? 

Love the shadow here!

Surprisingly there were only a handful of dogs at the park. And most just played with  whoever they came with. Reggie spent a lot of time watching from the sidelines.

Flowers are in bloom everywhere! I love Mother Nature!

 Anyone know what kind of bird this masked pigeon-esque thing is?

Happy Fathers Day to all the proud papa's out there - including my own! (excluding Andrew's, who has failed miserably)

Once a Midwestern, Always a Midwestern

My parents have left me!!!!
My parents are both from the midwest, more specifically Iowa, and though they have lived on the west coast for decades now - Iowa is their home. And it is time (apparently) for them to go home. We all knew this would happen, but that doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye.

We went up to their house last week and spent some quality time doing what we love to do as a family - playing games, laughing, eating, taking pictures.

And as of this morning - my parents no longer live on the west coast. I can no longer drive three hours and be at their house. So sad.

But on the plus side, when we do go to visit them, we will also be visiting a plethora of other relatives who live in Iowa. And eating tons of sweet corn. And seeing the stars better than you can possibly see them near a big city.

We're sad to see them go - but we are all very happy for them to be heading back "home."

West Coast Grandkids

Uncle Mike was in town visiting-FROM IOWA.

Duchesneau siblings (some of them anyway)

My sister and dad
We headed down to the waterfront to take a short walk and enjoy some good company....until it started to rain on us, of course.

My handsome son ziplining on the small childs play equipment.

My beautiful niece, Alyssa
Hopefully we will be visiting Iowa for Thanksgiving. It's been a long time since I went 5 months without seeing my parents. I will miss them!!!

A Week of Everything and Nothing

I start my new job on Monday - but until then, I have a glorious week off. I haven't taken many vacation days in the last year, as evidenced by how much PTO was cashed out for me when I left my old job last week, so this is a much-needed break. And I assume I'm not going to be able to take vacation again too soon after just starting my new job.

My week has been both productive and lazy. 

I have watched about 15episodes of this Australian show: Offspring. I don't know how I came to find it, but I am totally addicted. It's currently halfway through Season 3 in Australia.

I'm in the midst of Season 2 but catching up fast...Anyone know of this series? I love the characters. It's kind of an Ally McBeal type show, for those who remember that one.

Since I painted some walls blue and muslin, I realized that I had to paint the baseboards, which were previously the pinkish color which the prior owner thought was a great color to have in the largest open space of the house. I've taken to painting them white, but it's a LONG process. I started last month and have been doing sections of each room as I have time-and this week I have the time so am finishing this project for good. I didn't realize how important white baseboards were before, but once I started painting, I can really see why it's important:
Last week, I was doing a lot of walking-taking hour long walks every other day or so, and a couple 90-min walks. This week- NONE!!!! I don't know's sad. I have done some yard work and house stuff, so it's not as if I'm doing no exercise, but I miss the long walks.

I finished crocheting my first hat EVER:
Hat #1
I don't really have a purpose in making this beanie, but I've never made one before and wanted to give it a try. I think it turned out quite well. I didn't follow a pattern though- I was going to, but I just couldn't make myself count stitches, so I just winged it.

I mostly did the next two projects before this week, but I did slightly complete them this week, so they count:
Small wooden chalkboard for keeping score during games. I bought  a wood craft board at the craft store, painted the sides orange and then used chalkboard paint on the top.
Side yard in the front of the house - the top part of this photo was 1-2 feet tall weeds. It's a million times better now and I'm sure my neighbors are all very grateful that I finally took care of the disaster there. I'm hoping that by end of summer, the plants spread and fill in a bit.
I played about 50,000 games of samurai sudoku on my smart phone. Usually at night just before going to bed, staying up much too late to solve just one more puzzle. My average time in solving is about 19 minutes. Multiply that by 50,000 and you have a LOT of wasted time.

We went to visit my family and said goodbye to my parents, who will be moving to Iowa this weekend. I'll post that story and the pics in a separate post.

I have slept about 9 hours a night every night. I set my alarm and it goes off every morning and I wake up and think about getting up and being really productive and staying on a work schedule, but the bed is so warm and cozy and the cats are curled up's just too hard to get up.

I have just 3 more days until my new work-life begins...very exciting. Very scary. But very exciting. And scary.

The World Loves A Parade!

Last Sunday was an annual family tradition of meeting up with the family and watching the Starlite Parade - part of the Portland Rose Festival. It's been a family tradition for at least two decades I think...a long time. A great fun and nearly free family tradition. 
Not my family, mind you. But a family that thankfully allows me to join in:

If you look closely, you might recognize (fr other blog posts) the little blonde girl on the far left in the red chair. 
This parade involves someone getting down to the right spot early to save spots for everyone. In this case, someone's Aunt Cindy and her friend showed up at noon and set out 18 chairs and three blankets and prevent other riff-raff from stealing our spots. And apparently, people WILL steal your spots if given any chance to do so. For instance, in the photos above, there is a green chair on the right. They originally asked if we could scoot together a bit so they could fit more chairs there. This just isn't allowed-it's great to be nice and all, but when saving parade seats, it's pretty cut-throat and you have to hold your own no matter what.

So to recap-Aunt Cindy was at this spot on the sidewalk at NOON. The parade doesn't start until it gets dark. There is a fun-run beforehand that is great to watch, it starts about 8pm. Aunt Cindy and Friend saved our spots for EIGHT HOURS. Slightly insane, right?? But highly appreciated.

The fun run is a great time because people dress up for it. We saw all kinds of great costumes:
men in dresses!
big muppet characters!
band members!
 If you're an ambitious sort, you can sell cheaply made goods at the parade by just strolling down the street with a cart full of whatever. Some jackass in our group bought my little blonde friend a horrible noisemaker.

 And then the parade began!!!!
And the jello shots were more frequently consumed!!
There were a lot of jello shots consumed.

I don't actually like parades that much, but what I found last year, when I joined this family tradition, was that there's a way to make parades really fun. I'll share with you - feel free to enjoy your next parade this way.
Almost every float or group that comes by you - you yell at them.

Someone in our group would yell something - so for instance, if this band marches by, you would yell:


Or someone in a car drives by - their name is on the car, so you yell their name as if you know them.
They actually find out what the most common girl's name is and then they yell out that name when large groups go by- like this year we did a lot of  yelling "GO TAYLOR!!!"

Or for this (blurry) guy from the Grimm cast, someone yelled something like -"THANKS FOR BRINGING THE HOLLYWOOD DOLLARS TO PORTLAND!!"

And when there are large breaks in the parade, all the kids get up and run out in the street and play ball or tag or just run around. In a busy downtown setting, having the roads closed to traffic is the best thing for kids!


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