Excepting vs. Accepting

They will take gold bars, first-born children and possibly pounds of salt, but for god’s sake don’t give them actual US currency.

Note: a few days later this was changed to “accepting” so it turns out they would take cash after all. Also note that this gas station sign is a favorite sighting when traveling the long road (Lombard) to St. Johns. It’s always wishing people a happy birthday or congratulating them for something or other. It’s one of the treasures of Lombard street, as far as I’m concerned.

Highlights from Dead Relatives Tour 2011

Fun to say:

Another picture of a German grave just so I can hear Matt pronounce it.

As usual on the Dead Relatives Tour we visited my great-great grandparents (my grandfather’s maternal grandparents) and my grandparents’ (my mother’s parents) graves. New this year we bumped up over the hill from my grandparents’ cemetery to visit my great grandparents (my grandmother’s parents) graves. My great grandparents are buried at Skyline Memorial Gardens. We had to stop and get directions to the graves because the MAunts hadn’t be there in awhile. Although their remembering of “down that way” turned out to be true. Much to my delight the sections of the cemetery were named. The names were fabulously retro: Last Supper, Terrace of Serenity, Mediation, Prayer, Old Rugged Cross, Sermon on the Mount, Devotion, Gethsemane (I had to ask what that was) and Apostles, as well as others.

My great grandparents were thankfully not buried in Atonement (I’m betting that section had slow sales, except when purchased by long suffering wives as a good place for their not-so-great husbands to be laid to rest) but in Everlasting Life!

With the help of our handy map, we found the graves, and were sad to see that they had been neglected, apparently for several years. Both of them had sunk a bit and most of my great-grandmother’s was obscured by a thick coating of dried mud. We didn’t have anything to clean the gravestones with, so Aunt Pat arranged the flowers and we took leave. Next year we will bring some broom/mud scraping objects.

Vancouver Lake Bike Ride

I’m looking for some good swimming holes in the Portland Area. For when the hot weather comes. “You mean the one day of hot weather?” people comment when I say this. It’s been a very cold spring and last summer was more “Arctic” than “Summer,” as evidenced by the sad looks on the many urban tomato growers as we headed into September with nary a ripe tomato.

Portland does not seem to have an abundance of places to swim that are not rivers. I think this is because the mild summers don’t drive people to find or make bodies of water suitable for swimming. When 80 degrees is considered “hot,” sitting in front of a fan is enough to become “cool” again. Because I grew up in the hundred degree heat of Boise, Idaho summers, I am used to retreating to the water when temperatures shoot up.

I’ve already explored Blue Lake and found it lacking. There’s no actual swimming to be done there, just standing in waist deep water and chatting with your companions. So I headed out on the bike to Vancouver Lake to see if it might be a solution for a future hot day.

On the way, I stopped at the quiet Liberty Park for a bite of lunch.

It was quite a delicious lunch and I congratulated myself for creating it.

Heading out of Vancouver, I had to cross the Railroad tracks. This sign was funny because the way the tracks cross the intersection there is NO WAY you could turn right from this intersection when a train is present.

It’s not far to Vancouver Lake and these signs kept me appraised of just how close I was getting.

The Columbia River was flooding, spilling extra water into wetlands. The sky was blue, the wind was cold, it was a holiday weekend and no one was on the road with me. Not cars, not bikes. For a bit I wondered if the rapture had happened.

There were a few people at the crew club on the lake, but the park itself was also eerily deserted.

The lake too, showed signs of flooding. There were actually two people swimming in the lake, despite the cold. They were wearing wet suits. Verdict: It looks like a promising lake for a swim on a hot day.

One of the other reasons I wanted to visit the lake was because I am reading the Brothers K by David James Duncan. It’s set in Camas, Washington and Vancouver Lake is referenced. In the book, all the cows at the dairy near the lake die, and Alcoa is blamed for their deaths, due to the pollution in the water. Alcoa, however, buys a bunch of cows and sets them to grazing in the same spot to prove the water is fine. However, one of the characters has a classmate whose father is paid by Alcoa to drag away the dead cattle every day.

So I enjoyed this sign, the main gist of I will translate for you:
1887: Vancouver Lake was 20 ft. deep & full of fish
1976: Vancouver Lake was 3ft. deep & had no fish.

That sign was right next to this more official looking one.

Which here describes Alcoa’s donation of 112 acres. Later on in the sign it says, “Due to the generosity of…the Aluminum Company of America…Clark County was able to acquire and develop Vancouver Lake for your enjoyment.” This makes Alcoa seem quite generous. Except that the other sign references the 17 million dollars spent in 1983 to clean up the lake. So, essentially, Alcoa got to pollute for as long as they wanted, “donated” the land to the people and the people got to clean up after them. Good job Alcoa! So generous.

Heron. A sign along my way described the many heron nesting spots around the lake.

I rode on to Frenchman’s Bar. On the way, I stopped to read this sign, which pointed me to the view of the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

I then captured this view of said confluence. On the Oregon side of the river, you can see this at Kelly Point park.

I saw three cats on my journey. One was obviously feral, but I’m thinking this one and the other one–who did not pose for a picture–lived at the Frenchman’s Bar caretaker house nearby.

The mighty Columbia rolls on. You can see the flooding: the bushes are partially submerged.

More ship, more sky, more people over here at Frenchman’s Bar.

Apparently it was the place to go to fish, because that’s what all the people were doing.

Riding back, I can say I was within the limit.

When we hit that speed zone I was still okay.

Misleading Headline

The picture this headline makes in my head is that remains were found sometime in the past near Blue Lake Park and were moved back to their proper place, but turned zombie-like and wandered back to Blue Lake Park again. However, the sub-headline clarifies things:

Apparently it was a different set of remains this time. No need to worry about zombie remains here in Portland, folks.

Tiny house not long for this world

I’ve long enjoyed the section of North Omaha Avenue north of Lombard. Five blocks north of Lombard, the street runs into Winchell, making for a nice quiet place to walk. The houses are mostly small and look a bit disheveled in the positive way that says to me, “we love our houses and we are doing things to them as time and money allows, but alas, we have many interests and not much money, so things are what they are.”

This house is located at 7626 N. Omaha Ave. I’ve liked this house for years for a lot of reasons. It’s tiny, and has a large lot. My mom and I happened to go to a house sale here, so we got to go inside. The woman who was having the house sale was an artist, so there was a lot of art, which always gives me a good feeling. There was even a nice chicken run for chickens. Sadly, it seems the owner was moving because she was in foreclosure.

Portland Maps (An Information Service Provided by the City of Portland) tells the sad story. In 2007, the house sold for $175,000, which is overpriced, in my opinion. I suspect it went into foreclosure in late 2009 when it sold for 105,000. It was on the market a few months ago for $125,000. I was wishing to buy it, but am currently lacking in cash for superfluous house purchases. In December of last year, the house sold for a remarkable $70,900! The new owners (Mark & Lorena Connelly) have applied for a permit to tear the house down, that is the sign on the fence to the right.

I’m sad to see this house go, and hope that the house that replaces it will have the charm that this one does. I’ll keep us updated.

6/3/11 Update. I walked by this morning and the house was gone. Thank goodness I took the picture when I did.

20MPDC 5/24/11

Wednesday 5/18

Thursday, 5/19
I spent 15 minutes continuing to rue the fact that I decided to make a web site in WordPress, rather than Blogger. It looks prettier, but I could have been done with this two weeks ago. WordPress is not intuitive. It’s not even understandable when I’m looking at the help screen instructions. Today I manged to get a picture uploaded (yay!) and then spent the rest of the time trying to turn off comments and make a category. It’s getting close to done, though.

Friday 5/20
Two days of 20MPDC in a row! Today I finished the blog and finished the quarter sheet flyers to pass out. Next I will make a “tear off” poster to hang up in a few places.

Saturday 5/21

Sunday 5/22
I printed out my Harvest Helper flyers and sliced them up. They are ready for distribution.

Monday 5/23
Starting tomorrow I will pass out my Harvest Helper fliers on my morning walk. I’ve now moved on to garage sale 20MPDC. I’ve picked my tentative date (July 9) and today I labeled items for sale. I also straightened my storage shed to better hold items for sale after I label them. I’m pricing everything very cheap (mostly $1.00 or under, a lot of the stuff I priced today was 25 to 50 cents) so that it will be bought and taken away from me. I’ve been to garage sales lately and everyone seems to have an overinflated sense of their items worth. For instance, at a sale I went to recently they had a nice vintage metal cooler. Very retro cool. But priced at $75.00? At a garage sale? I think not. Maybe in a vintage store placed in a very yuppie part of town. But not at a garage sale.

So from now until July 9 I will be decluttering and pricing things for a garage sale at the same time.

Tuesday 5/24
15 minutes of pricing everything that has been sitting by the front door, waiting to go to the Goodwill. I had a realization in the middle of the night. I’ve been looking for a metal shelf on which I can set the seed starts. I want to pay less than $10.00 for one. It turns out, I have a metal shelf already. It sits by the front door and collects things that rarely, if ever, get taken to Goodwill. That’s not a good focal point for the living room/front area. So I will price everything on it for the sale, store the items in the storage closet for the sale and move the shelf outside to hold the seed starts. Brilliant!