Friday, March 27, 2009

Matt and Patricia get away!

We wanted to get away for spring break, but we had little time and not a lot of money. But we found a perfect mini-vacation. Here we are, ready to go.
Unlike our last vacation, where we rented a car, we began this one on foot.
We walked through the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood. I liked this tiny house with the large front yard.
And this one too.
Matt posed in front of a huge tree.
Funny sign. Saturdays, you will get a very good haircut. The other days of the week, not so much.
The famous Jefferson High School, home of the Jefferson Dancers and multiple attempts to revive the school using different educational models. I find myself referring to the school as, "That poor school." Meaning not that the majority of its students are poor, but in trying to fix the school, the district is constantly trying new things, thus never building any sort of success.
And we arrive at our bus stop.
Here is the local branch of the public library.

Frank, at the Florida Room, hates it when you are sober. Get to drinking.

Portland Community College (we share the same initials) has a campus across from Jefferson and the library.

The bus whisks us away and we arrive at our destination, the Kennedy School.

Each room, one-half of a former classroom, is a theme. Ours was "Old MacDonald."

You can write on the chalkboards. I had never seen this clever coat closet/chalk board arrangement, but I was impressed. On rainy days, it must have been nice to shut the musty smell of damp wool in the closet.

Here, Matt demonstrates the movable-ness of the panels.

Our front door.
We had dinner in the courtyard restaurant and Matt had a milkshake. After dinner, we played a card game and then saw Slumdog Millionaire which I hated, but which Matt enjoyed.
The bedside table held no Bible.

The next morning, after spending time in the Soaking Pool which was magical because it was raining and no one was there, we ate breakfast.

I'm still a little flushed from the soaking pool.

We then took the walking tour. Below: a mosaic.
Bas relief panels that were originally donated to the school by J.D. Kennedy. They are full size reproductions of Luca della Robbia's 15th century masterworks done for the cathedral in Florance.

A landscape by Jennifer Joyce picturing the Kennedy school and its surroundings in the late nineteen teens.

There were many mosaics which used yearbook inscriptions such as this one: "I love you little, I love you big, I love you like a little pig."
You can walk into the brewery, the former girls bathroom, and see these portraits of former students and principals on the brew kettles.
Matt enjoyed this explanation of beer brewing.
Here, on a former chalkboard, is the listing of the choices in the movie theater. Notice that we could have seen "Twilight" and both been appalled by the bad acting. I think that would have been a better choice than me sitting with my eyes shut for large portions of the movie.
Matt poses with an wooden attendant from Indonesia.
Our tour finished, we checked out and took the bus home. It was a lovely holiday.

Note: Information about the artwork of the Kennedy school came from the pamphlet "McMenamins Kennedy School, A Walking Tour of Art and History."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Office Setup.

The arrangement of our office has been driving me crazy. I feel trapped at my desk, so I rarely sit there. The room is too crowded. It also needs to be painted but I hate painting so we are waiting for pigs to fly first.
Here's a closeup of my area. I can't shut my closet door without rolling my chair past the dresser. I everything is always messy and too close together.
In a perfect world, I would have scoured Craigslist for a new-to-me desk that costs $40.00 and works perfectly. In this word, I went to Ikea. This was the most complex Ikea item I had ever assembled, and it wasn't easy, but I did it!
Sentinel helped me by supervising. Though I was confused through much of the assembly diagrams, I was really impressed with the various ways they made all the particle board come together.
Here it is, 95% assembled. I had to wait until Matt got home so he could help me lift the top part onto the bottom part.
You will see finished results of the room later. This desk is a transformative item for this room.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cats playing

I put some of those slider things to protect the floor on the bottom of the couch legs, but then couldn't stand the couch up without knocking them off. I had to wait for Kelly to come over to watch a movie to right the couch. In the meantime, Sentinel doesn't like things out of place, so he was managing the situation. Upstairs Kitty thought it was a wonderful playground. She would be the orange blur in the second picture.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chase Lounger Gets a New Look

I love our Ektorp lounger from Ikea, but in the nearly two years we have owned it, I have grown disenchanted with the white cover. I'm not a fan of white things as they don't tend to stay white, but at the time of purchase, white seemed to be our best choice.

Through the normal processes of living, our cover had gotten grubby looking. Yes, I could take it off and wash it, but 1) that would require a trip to the laundromat as our tiny washer and dryer can't handle the massive amount of material and 2)when I wash white things they never are as white as they were. I seem to be missing an essential whitening gene.

So, we saved up and bought this new cover. It is still white, partially, but it was a better choice for our chase. I think it looks better, too.
Ikea, please make a solid blue right-hand chase cover. Seriously. I will buy it. I don't care if it is too matchy-matchy with the couch.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kale Harvest

We harvested the last of the kale today. I have to say, from a gardening perspective, kale is a wonder plant. You plant it. It grows. When the temperature drops below freezing, the flavor gets better. It snows and the kale grows on. It is easy to prepare, chock full of vitamins and delicious! Everyone should grow kale!

Sentinel's rejected toys.

You know when parents spend tons of money buying toys for their baby and the child likes to play with the boxes more than the toys? Here you see that principle applied to cat ownership. I bought all those toys for Sentinel and his toy of choice? My dangling apron strings when the apron is hung up on the bakers rack. Also, red string that was tied around our Valentines. Yep. All of these toys are getting donated to the Humane society.

Hot Date.

Matt and I had a "hot date" tonight. We did our taxes. Because we aren't married we each fill out our own form, but we set aside tonight to get them done. It was good time invested. Both of us have a lot taken out of our checks and so Matt got a tremendously large return from the feds and a fairly large chunk from the state. I got the largest amount ever from the Feds, but still had to pay the state. (!@@%$^%#$!) I know that ideally you should be striving to not have to pay money or get much of a refund so "your money can be making money for you in the bank." But my bank money? It pays me about three pennies per month right now. So I'll take the windfall once per year instead of those thirty-six pennies.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pictures from February that didn't go up in proper order.

Matt got a present in the mail with excess packaging, and the cats enjoyed playing in it. Upstairs Kitty would hide and Sentinel would attack.
Mom had a birthday and I made the cake. Other things were made too, like dinner, but I didn't take pictures.
We celebrated that made up holiday in mid-February by reserving a Zipcar and driving(!) to the Lakewood Theater to see Bell, Book and Candle. The best part was the surprise Moonstruck Chocolates left in the car as a gift to us from Zipcar and Moonstruck. Thanks!