Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spindrift: Ocean Plunge

Aside from beach walks, kite flying and eating there was a lot of sitting around reading and chatting on our trip. Also parsing the definitions of words using the huge dictionary. At one point we were discussing how could the Oregon Coast is most of the year and how the water is positively frigid. Matt suddenly disappeared into the bedroom, then reappeared a moment later in his swimsuit and carrying a towel. He ran out the door and all the way down to the water. The tide was out, so it was a long, long way. Stephen followed suit. (heh!) Into the water they plunged, while we--snug, dry and warm in the cottage groaned aloud.

Jim went out to capture the moment and back they walked.

Matt looking cheery post-plunge.

Stephen also wet, cold and cheery.
It was a lovely weekend, and I'm especially thankful to Deborah for inviting us. Harrah Spendrift!

Spindrift: Porch Views

Our view from the porch. I didn't spend any time out there because it was pretty cold, but I bet in the summer this is a nice place to pass the afternoon.

Spindrift: early morning walk

I woke up early--no surprise there--and set out for a morning walk. I took the stairs down to the beach. It was a gray morning. The weather over the weekend was typical Oregon Coast spring weather: sun! clouds! rain! more rain! less rain! sun! and the cycle would repeat itself.

Obligatory feet at the beach photo.

Growing under rocky conditions.

I picked my way across the rocks for awhile, but that wasn't the kind of walking I was in the mood for, so I walked back to the road and followed the road up the hill. I was rewarded with this lovely view.
My walk took two hours and when I returned at eight, no one had yet gotten up. So I read and watched the water until they did.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spindrift: Food

Ah the Spindrift food! Aside from other good eats that people brought, Jim and Stephen cooked us a splendid dinner that was fancy and delicious.

Jim cooks the fish.

It was bought fresh today.

Apples, bread, fettuccine are ready to be served.

Delicious zucchini pancakes, fettucchini with a light sauce and fresh grated parmesean, and aspargus.

The fish cooked with olives and fennel.

Deborah made a fabulous chocolate cake which Matt loved so much he got the recipe for.

Spindrift: Kites

Stephen and Jim brought fighter kites. They turned out to be even more fun than normal kites.
They were also harder to deploy. I tried a few times and gave up. But Dominique, Deborah's niece, was a natural.

Spindrift Beach

What's a trip to the beach, without a walk on the beach?

Tuley, Deborah's dog, is a dog that loves the beach.

Spindrift: quirks

There is a volunteer board that runs Spindrift. They are librarians, or employees of the library and thus, any cottage they run would show some of the librarian quirks. Here are a couple.

Just in case you need a pencil, this can't be mistake for anything but a pencil box.

This eraser nicely fixes the problem of loose window hardware.

Stephen was lounging in the main room, staring up at the ceiling when he gasped. "Oh my gosh, only librarians would find the leak and then label it." We all rushed over to look. Indeed, the ceiling showed water damage and had a handy label: leak.

Spindrift: Views

Matt and I arrived first, as is our lot, and Deborah was there to greet us. The first thing we saw walking in was the gorgeous view of the ocean. A. E. Doyle knew what he was doing.

This is the main room, where we all spent a lot of time. Various naps were taken on various couches throughout our lazy day.

Cynthia and Deborah unpack food.
The view out the side window.

The exterior
The front of the house. Isn't it lovely how it juts out like a ship's prow?

Looking back towards Manzanita.

This marker is the one you see on the way back from the beach.

Spindrift: What is it?

Some of you may know that I'm a library groupie. I love the library and probably would have my ashes interred there if someone would let me. I happen to have a librarian friend, which as a library groupie is pretty cool as we all know that librarians are perhaps the coolest hippest people on the planet, especially in relation to their entirely inaccurate "Shhhhh!" image in popular culture.

So when my librarian friend Deborah said, "I've got the library cottage for three days in May, do you want to come?" I immediately squealed my affirmation without even having any idea what the librarian's cottage was. What library groupie wouldn't?

The library cottage, as I learned from Deborah, is also known as Spindrift Cottage and it is in Manzanita, Oregon, right on the beach. Mary Frances Isom commissioned A.E. Doyle to build it in 1912 (the same year my grandmother was born.) A.E. Doyle is also the man who designed the gorgeous Central Library.
When Mary Francis Isom died, she left her cottage to the library employees. Not the Foundation, or the Board or the library proper, but its employees. And today, that's who gets to use it. If you are a half-time or more employee of the Multnomah County Library, you can enter a lottery to have a stay at Spindrift. Drawings are held three times per year and stays are short, to accommodate as many people as possible. The cottage sleeps twelve, has a kitchen, bathroom and an incredible view of the ocean, as you will see.
Matt and I had an incredible time at Spindrift and we are grateful to Deborah for inviting us.

If you want to read a short column that was in the Oregonian in April about Mary Frances Isom, you can go here or find it in the April 10, 2010 edition of the Oregonian. "Talented women opens Portland library to public, serves readers across Multnomah County" by John Terry.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Chair

Our friends Burt & Laurie were giving away this chair and we took it. It's a really nice leather chair in a color of blue that somewhat goes with our decor. Having grown up sitting on "pleather" in various places--though not my home because my mother hated it, for good reason--I've always thought leather was hot and sticky and uncomfortable. I've recently figured out that leather and pleather are two entirely different substances. One of my colleages has a leather couch I wanted to sit in forever. So I liked the chair. But would the cats?

About 30 minute after the chair arrived Sentinel--who doesn't like change of any kind--hopped up and I got one "yes" vote.

After Sentinel had vacated his post, Antares cast his vote in favor of the new furniture.
So now we have everyone in agreement. And because this is a house with cats, the pristine leather was marred a few days later in the course of the cats "chase each other around the house like mad kitties" game. The arms now have scratches in them from the cats jumping up and across them. And I learned that I probably can't have cats and a luxurious leather couch that I pay a lot of money for. So I will have to enjoy fancy leather couches elsewhere. It was good to learn that on a free chair.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yet another photo of the cute kitties.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ants and radishes

The ants seem to be sharing space with the radishes. And by "sharing space" I mean that the ants are EATING MY RADISHES! How rude.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Where to go for our anniversary dinner? Both Matt and I are not very good at picking out restaurants. We usually end up at Pizza Fino, which is delicious and very near our house, but we wanted something else for a special occasion. Matt had the ingenious idea of asking on Facebook and we had many recommendations. We chose La Bottega in Vancouver Washington, (Kelly's recommendation) which was a bad idea in getting there (drive North on I-5 on a Friday at rush hour? What were we thinking?) but incredibly delicious once we got there.
For instance, they have Gorgonzola Cheesecake. So good! And their wine list is extensive and the glasses are generous.