2008 in review

2008 began and ended with some unexpected twists & turns. Life is what you make of it and the obstacles that seemed overwhelming- had a way of making life sweeter. We focused on the outcome and celebrated the successes on the way. Early this past year, when faced with some medical situations- I had an opportunity to re-group and re-evaluate. Then I continued to re-invent. I was able to take inventory of what is really important to me. I am stronger and more determined to continue chasing those goals and dreams that speak to my heart. 2009 will see more progress in these areas. Stay tuned for new announcements... as well as more photos and entries about the local area AND my adventures.
Note- as the year ended... we are especially jumping for joy with success in our Seaview Dunes Preservation activities, the Coastal CAP wind turbines (should be online by fall 09), political party organization (re-elected Chair of the local GOP), the Salmon Hatchery has 2 major projects in full swing (a viaduct passway and a new diversion/fish ladder) with Chinook River rehab, I am healthy and have started a new fitness plan. (more on that later) Also, I am fully immersed in Web 2.0 projects, including twitter. I have joined even more local and state boards- and we are really looking forward to watching our adult children as they reach milestones in achieving their dreams.
Thanks for visiting my blog- and check back often! If you are visiting the area-send me an email- or just drop on by (beach etiquette). Brett & I would love to get to know you!

County Courthouse in South Bend

Yesterday I had a meeting up in South Bend. The Voter Disability Advisory Board met to look at some new technology. We meet at the Auditor's Office which is at the Courthouse.

This building is on the National Historic Register and is known for it's domed stained glass top. (the top photo is from the EDC web site here)

"Once described as a "gilded palace of extravagance," the 1910 courthouse is an excellent example of Second Renaissance Revival architechture.

The rotunda is lit by a stained glass dome 35 feet in diameter." (quote from here)

The very last historical photo is of the courthouse prior to 1910- however, those of us who live in the south end of the county know the rest of the story....

Oysterville was the county seat from 1854 until 1893- when in the dark of night- the county files were STOLEN and rowed across the Willapa Bay to South Bend.

To this day- we are known to say -"I am getting my boat- who is joining me to take back the county seat?"
We just get cranky that way.

Yummy in Seaside

We have awesome restaurants on the Long Beach Peninsula.... but sometimes- you just gotta get out of Dodge!

For a festive anniversary dinner- we headed 30 minutes south to Seaside, OR and the Yummy Wine Bar & Bistro.

This top photo is from their very descriptive web site here. Just imagine the flowers are gone now- and you see the pretty wonderful Starfish lights that line the streets.

Forgive the dark blurry photos...

We started with a complimentary sparkling champagne (our anniversary gift from the owner)- and I continued with a flight of red from Italy. We ordered the hors d'oeuvre platter and enjoyed the lovely art exhibit.

For entrees- Brett had the 'yummy' Venison Stew with pesto potato gnocchi, roasted root vegetables in a cabernet sauvignon rosemary demi glace- I had the Northwest Paella (because I am a Paella Snob)- manila clams, tiger shrimp, chicken, chorizo sausage and peas tossed in saffron rice.

I should mention that when I asked which wine our server would recommend for me- she picked the EXACT wine I was thinking of- (is this a party trick?!) Hullaballoo Zin. Double 'Yummy'.

10 years and counting.

10 years ago- Brett and I said 'I do' -we joined together in the Sacrament of Marriage AND merged our families. (the kids still refer to it as OUR wedding)

We were both single parents- with full time custody. One boy each- one girl each. Same ages.

The short version of this story is that our daughters- played parent trap. While we were mad for other each immediately- after 3 weeks- we both realized that we were not ready to remarry. Doesn't every divorced person have a failure/horror story? We made the decision to date others and not be serious.

With our children the same ages- (boys the same) (girls the same).... we remained friends for the next 4 years. One fine day in August of 1998- Brett showed up at my door- and asked, "how come we aren't dating?" I couldn't remember... and so he promptly asked me to "go steady'...and then a few months later proposed.

Our courtship went on the fast track- his kids immediately jumped for joy and moved into my house the very next day! (Brett wasn't allowed to- you know you have to set a good example for young teens!) A few months later- we had a wonderful romantic Christmas wedding.

Two years ago, 2006- I was lucky enough to formally adopt our youngest-Paris. Though she was 21 at the time- it was something we were finally able to do- and we picked our anniversary as the most perfect date to celebrate.

Bank on wheels

Remember the fire in downtown Astoria? Bank of America brought in a temporary banking center. It is housed in the downtown square area. I thought it was a holiday van or something... bright red and next to the Christmas Tree.

Hurry up - Santa was here!

We don't have small children rushing around with excitement on Christmas morning.... we have a cat- who dashes about waking everyone up! She just didn't know what to do with all these boxes, ribbons and presents! Santa left her catnip- so that gave her an extra energy boost!

Berber Creche

A few years back- when I visited Aura in Morocco for her birthday... she was gifted with this hand made Bedouin doll house. It makes a nice creche scene.

The kids played with the plastic figures...over and over- every Christmas.

St Marys in McGowan

Local Seaview resident and Wa State Historical Society guru-Jim Sayce- took this photo that is in the paper today. He commented that it is no wonder Lewis & Clark decided to move over to Oregon for the winter.

"St. Mary’s Catholic Church in McGowan was picture-postcard pretty in this blizzardy photo taken Sunday at about 1:30 in the afternoon. Jim Sayce of the Washington State Historical Society notes that it’s no wonder the Chinook Tribe traditionally decamped from their Middle Village site (at what would become McGowan) in order to spend winters elsewhere in the area."
(yes, this is where the Ring 2 was filmed)

Snow at Dads

This isn't the beach- but 2 hours east- in Portland near Rock Creek. Portland has been hard hit- ice and snow.

Hey Dad- Palm Trees? I guess I didn't really think about it. They must be unhappy. How are the topiaries?

Highway 26 just opend up the past hour. But another weather front with snow is heading our way- arriving tomorrow thru Christmas Day.

Snow covered hills at the mouth of the Columbia.

Here is a rather pretty photo taken by Daily Astorian photographer Alex Pajunas. I haven't been able to get over the bridge to Astoria for a few days now... but we are planning to go this afternoon. I'll bring the camera.

Looking at this photo- turn left at the end of the bridge- and head thru Chinook- to Seaview.

Highways to Portland closed.

No photos. It is just after midnight Sunday. Just a quick note to say that Highway 30 AND Highway 26 are closed to travel tonight. The fallen trees and ice make travel to Portland impossible. I wouldn't want to travel north to Seattle either.

The snow is still falling.

This is our house and driveway. Be careful coming down the drive- a huge tree has snapped off and is hanging precariously above. Thankfully, it isn't over the neighbors property.

Perhaps the wind- which is picking up- will knock it loose tonight.

Topiary Angel

Evidence of my past life. 1989
Found in the boxes of Christmas decorations. (complete with water spots) I made this Angel for a Holiday Decorator Home Tour in Beverly Hills.

We have SNOW at the beach!

This is Highway 26 going into Portland. Sorry Dad- no trip to visit.

a trip to Astoria seems to be out of the question today. I enjoyed 'Uncle Walt' blog description of his trip to work. After reading his blog- I knew not to go.

We have lots of ice under this pretty snow.
(photos from DailyAstorian.com)

and ODOT- Oregon Dept of Transportation has gone hip with their youtube video of 'how to put on tire chains'.

Local leader tapped to develop Coast Guard Museum

(from the ChinookObserver.com) By the way- Jerry is a really good guy. A perfect choice for the task.
Ostermiller officially named to develop new Coast Guard museum

Jerry Ostermiller, former president of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, was named president of the National Coast Guard Museum in Connecticut Thursday.

He will establish museum programming, develop internal infrastructure and lead capital campaign fund raising efforts for the construction of the country's newest national museum in New London, Conn.

The Coast Guard is the only military service that does not have a national museum.

"We are honored to have Jerry lead the National Coast Guard Museum, especially during the pinnacle of its development," said James Coleman, chairman of the museum association's board of directors. "Jerry has an impressive record of leadership that will be the necessary conduit to prepare the museum to open its doors. We look forward to partnering and supporting him in this impressive undertaking to honor the U.S. Coast Guard."

"Through the encouraging work of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, the Coast Guard Foundation, the city of New London and the state of Connecticut, we are within reach of our goal to establish a National Coast Guard Museum that will educate Americans about our nation's rich maritime heritage and the heroic history of the Coast Guard and its guardians," said Adm. Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard.

Ostermiller worked for 19 years at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, the first nationally accredited maritime museum on the West Coast entirely supported by private donations. His tenure included completing a $6,000,000 remodel.

Previously he was historic sites administrator for the state of Idaho and was a member of the Idaho Historic Preservation Council and served as its president. He is a past president of the Council of American Maritime Museums and a member of the board of the U.S. Lifesaving Service Heritage Association.

Home for the Holidays

Paris is home for Christmas break from college. We have her locked in the attic room- studying for MCAT exam next month. Aura is happy to have her best buddy home to train with.

Flowers & Fluff rest stop

When driving towards Portland- we always like to stop at Flowers & Fluff in Clatskanie. They have added a nice Coffee House section- and serve a great latte. But the gifts and garden are the best. I always see something that I must take away with me.

Earlier in the day, I had determined that I must have a chartreuse ribbon to finish off the garland on the stairs. Upon walking in the door- taking a driving break- whoa! I stopped dead in my tracks and gazed upon the chartureuse flocked trees.