Tags: road-trip


Errands Today -- Green Tomatoes!

Marilyn and I both washed our hair before running errands today...

Marilyn's oral surgery seems to continue to improve -- as does her rash. But she still needs to take it easy, which she can.

One of the things we did was go to Sauvie Island to Kruger's Farm Market to U-Pick green tomatoes! (woo hoo) These are our first greenies of the season! (Of the YEAR, if we're being technical. Probably goes without saying, as there are no green tomatoes in winter or spring -- and not until late summer...)

The new icon that I made is actually a photo of me from last year (2011), and not a new one. But we didn't haul the camera along today, so...

You know, since getting my smart phone, I often don't even take my camera with me places. The iPhone has such a GREAT built in camera that I don't feel as nervous that I'll miss shots I want. Of course, it still doesn't take the photos my amazing camera does, but it's certainly a lot easier to drag along! Hahahahaha.

Glad to get the shopping at Walmart done last night and the errands done today. We had to force ourselves to go and finish up the shopping at Freddies, but we did it. (Hurray for us.)

Tomorrow we're off to Wildlife Safari with sister Sue and her two granddaughters (our grand nieces), Nicole and Madyson. Nicole starts high school this year -- Madyson did last year. It's a long drive, so we have to get an early start (around 8:00 a.m. is when we need to take off). The Elephant Car Wash closes at 3:00 p.m., for example, so you have to get there as early as you can not to miss out on things... Marilyn is driving, so she needs to take it easy for the rest of today, I think, to get ready for the long road trip.

Yeah, the car will be pretty PACKED with five us, but hopefully it won't be too uncomfortable (fingers crossed).

Well, I'm off for a read and a nap! Wow, vacation is exhausting...


Up? Yes.

It's cold in the house, so I've fired up the furnace. Marilyn is already out the door at 7:15. She has a super-long day in front of her, which includes a trip to Astoria, Oregon (!!!). With the current inclement weather, that will probably include encountering SNOW. The three going will be taking HER car -- but she made it clear that if they hit snow it will NOT be her driving (thank God). I'll say a prayer to Saint Michael to watch over them, personally...

The cats weren't anxious to get up. Too early and too cold for them, as yet!

I plan for a busy day, as well, as with all the IT yesterday I didn't get much of my 'To Do' list done. (sigh) But for now, I'm headed back for a snuggle in the blankets. (grin)

Meanwhile, the OWNERSHIP issue regarding all LiveJournal communities continues, with the latest wrinkle of VOTING for who should be owner. I'm still stunned to see the TRUE owners frequently not included in those to be voted on, but I guess those who get voted in could always transfer ownership back again (hopefully???). It still seems very wrong to me to steal away a community that someone else created. I guess we'll see how it goes!

By the way, have I mentioned that Marilyn and I are making a serious effort to get more sleep by going to bed earlier?

Our goal is to be in bed by 1:00 a.m. We've made that a few times, but more often are in bed by 1:30, which I think is pretty good -- especially for us! It's honestly been years and years since we went to bed by that hour...

On that note, good morning! I'll see you all again just a little bit later. Cats, here I come!!!

Successful Event Day! (But I'm So Tired...)

We made our 'Festival Road Trip' with two buses full of festival friends, that included Royal Rosarians, members of the Portland Rose Society, Board members, almost the entire Staff (our office was closed today, at Marilyn's suggestion) and other sundry friends (some people from PSSCA and Battle Ground, spouses, assorted parents and so on). It was a happy crowd headed for a FABULOUS brunch that included a huge ice sculpture -- and tons of cool signature at every turn!

Our President and Queen were there, Jeff's new title (CEO) was unveiled, our important new sponsorship was announced and many (many, many) photos were taken -- along with piles of video. Though we didn't expect it, it actually made a couple news stations, which is grand.

And I got the web pages up that I prepared yesterday -- as Carol managed to create her first festival YouTube -- and to handle our Social Media for this event (with Laura away on vacation).

Jeff announced all our participants, giving Marilyn an excellent introduction (as his COO -- her new title). He also had the entire Staff stand to be recognized (easy for me, as I was on my feet almost the entire time taking pictures).

I had a lovely plate of AMAZING food (yes, I took photos of it -- but have yet to download any), which included roast beef, Eggs Benedict and salad with tomatoes turned into roses! When getting the beef, the chief was excited I took one of his roses -- as he called me by name (I was wearing my festival name tag on my blue jacket). I asked his, and he identified himself as Robert Young. Very cool guy!

After brunch, we moved to another area with cool signage for a full panel Press Conference (!!!) and several speakers.

Quite a successful event day -- and Marilyn should be really proud! She did a great job getting this thing organized (something of a mirror to last year's January event, I think).

We took our buses back and were at the office prior to 2:30 p.m. (as planned) -- though somehow two people were left behind! (I guess they didn't catch the exit instructions).

By 3:00 our entire Staff was back at work -- though Marilyn and I did get home tonight by just past 6:00 (for a change). Like any event day, we were both worn out (explaining why I'm blogging so late).

I got a TON of IT done in the late afternoon, including things I hadn't really planned to do (sigh). I've got a HUGE list of IT for tomorrow -- and unfortunately, much of it is not what was originally planned for this Thursday...

I'm struggling with the fact that I'll have three new people starting by February 1 -- but I won't have my new equipment approved for purchase until the meeting on February 9 (10? suddenly can't recall -- I'm very tired). I've no clue what I'm going to do for equipment, as I'm counting on the new stuff to fill out the currently missing pieces... (sigh) IT remains a constant issue. Aw, me, the joys of IT! (smile)

Well, I've got the garbage and recycling still to do, so I'd better get to it. I need to get to bed, because tomorrow is another really busy day (and I can barely keep my eyes open).

Oh. And my cousin wanted money from Marilyn and me -- so she contacted Marilyn via Facebook for a 'loan' (which is what she always calls a handout that she'll never repay). Marilyn is so generous that she always gives her more than she asks for -- but the 'loan' request bothers both of us. We've asked her not to call it that, considering we know she will never pay the money back. (Sister Sue understandably got very bitter after years of such 'loans' that were never paid back, so let's refer to it properly, shall we?) I'd told her we were busy and out of the office today, but that she could drop by after 3:00 for the $$$. She messaged me back, which was cool. But also phoned me this morning, which was NOT. I told her I was in a meeting and did NOT have time to talk (I was -- and needed to leave shortly). She was annoyed and showed it -- which bothers me, considering. (We also had a bunch of other stuff for her, including a huge bag of clothing.) Not sure why I should be made to feel bad when we're trying to help her out -- on one of our busiest days so far this year. But I guess that's life...

Bed soon, I hope!


Twitter Update for July...

This is actually very cool... (smile)

I'm now at 1,300 Followers at Twitter! (And I'm listed 80 times.)

I just started getting active at Twitter back in mid-January of this year, so I figure I must be doing something right. But in all honesty, it amazes me. I've only Tweeted 624 times (seriously, that's NOT all that much compared to many people). And I ignore DMs (Direct Messages) entirely. I do try to answer mentions, though, on a regular basis.

Anyway, I finally feel I've got the hang of both Twitter and Facebook and can balance them in my day without spending too much time on either one. My goal is to enjoy Social Media without being compulsive about it. (I just don't have that much free time, so I don't want to use it all playing online...)

Of course, LiveJournal interactions remain my FAVORITE, still, no matter what! But I've continued to blog here every single day, so no worries.

Being sick did keep me from commenting as much as I normally like to do, though! (My stats there are currently: 4,543 comments received, 8,319 comments posted. I usually do stay about twice as many comments posted as received, so I think that's pretty decent...) Forgive me if I've missed commenting to you lately -- hopefully I'll be better now that I'm actually starting to feel better! Fingers crossed on that...

I still need to finish up the garbage and recycling, wash (and dry) my hair and do more coding on the eNewsletter before heading to bed. (It's almost 1:00 a.m. here now.) I've been goofing off a bit after a long nap I took after dinner.

Tomorrow will be a VERY BUSY day at the festival office! IT stuff with Kris (including lifting towers, etc.), getting the eNewsletter sent OUT, several smaller projects (including some meetings) and on and on. Plus our Board Meeting/Picnic in the late afternoon/evening (we'll probably spend the afternoon preparing). My main goal is not to end up exhausted after it's all done. (I want to ease into normal work, considering being sick all this time. I wish I wasn't still so damn puny, but whatever!)

The cool thing? After this week Marilyn and I have a week of vacation (next week)!!! (woo hoo) I hope I'm all better (100% well) by then, so we can have fun -- play tennis, take some road trips and go to some movies. Or whatever!

On that note, back to the tasks at hand!!! And then I need to get my ass in bed.

under the weather

Feeling Yucky. (sigh)

I didn't want to be one of those people who have fun on the weekend -- then skip work right after. (We've seen that before at our office.) So I went in this morning and ended up having Marilyn bring me home sick in the afternoon...

Then I slept on the sofa for ages, before heading to bed. I'm going back there any second.

Actually, I've been fighting some bug since last week -- but with the deadlines and then the parade to attend on Saturday, I just didn't have TIME to give in and be sick. (smile) There's never any GOOD time to be sick, but whatever. This week is at least more quiet than prior to now.

Jeff headed to Korea today -- I hope he has a good trip. Marilyn and I didn't seem him before he left, but he was in the office yesterday. And he phoned us around 10:00 p.m. while we were still in the car heading home from Forks, Washington. I hope his trip goes well. He's doing a PowerPoint presentation and I guess he's nervous about the language barrier...

Henry (the cat) is feeling a little 'under the weather' today, himself. He had a poop-y accident and was dragging his butt across the rug in the living room (!!!) to clean it (sigh) -- I had to drag myself up to clean him, and the rug. What a mess -- but he can't help it! It was all stuck in his long fur, which I both cut and scrubbed.

Not sure what's wrong with me. I feel tired and have a sore throat and headache -- and as if I'm fighting a cold. I'm more BLAH than deathly ill, thankfully. And my bloodcount was good this morning (again), so...

On that note, I'm headed back to bed. Oh! it was fun going to the show with Sue and Nicole Sunday night. And I really need to share about our trip yesterday -- including TONS of photos! (smile)

star, gold star

Yesterday? Busy and Late. Today? A Parade!

We were at work until 2:00 a.m. last night, working like mad to finish up. Happily we got to bed by 3:00 a.m., as we had the drive to Battle Ground with Queen Victoria for the Harvest Days Parade!

I was surprised to see that I didn't really blog yesterday. Well, I blogged past midnight on Thursday, so I didn't actually MISS blogging for Friday, but I can't believe I didn't blog during our wacky and busy day! I was Facebook-ing like crazy, though, on and off. (It takes so little time to post at Facebook, after all.)

Marilyn had six (!!!) write-ups to do for Pinnacle Award submissions, which is a TON of writing. Everyone else was out of there by around 7:00, and we just kept plugging away. I did the special covers (graphics) for each one, made the PDF compliations (a new twist this year -- and more work) and then burned the PDFs to CD for each entry.

Plus I had to search for more photos for Jeff to take to Korea. (Because I didn't have anything else to do, after all.) I found tons and put them on a jump drive for him, so he can take them along. I think it's for a PowerPoint presentation, but to tell you the truth I don't really know.

Marilyn wore her Wonder Woman tee today -- and it was perfect. Because she seriously IS a wonder woman, in more ways than one!

We came home a scarfed down some food before heading to bed (we never had a real meal all day long), knowing we needed to be in a few hours. It was hard to do, believe me!

Then we went to pick up Victoria -- the sweetest girl ever -- and headed to Battle Ground. The three of us talked and talked and talked, and she is the most grown up person you can imagine. It's not at all like being with a teenage girl, believe me! I'll have to share more about her later, because she amazes and delights me.

Anyway, originally Marilyn and I didn't plan to be IN the parade, but we decided we needed to stay with Victoria. So we walked on either side of the float she rode, near the back. And we shot TONS of photos (that I've yet to download off my camera) -- mostly of the crowd as we walked by.

By the way, it's seriously NOT easy to shoot pictures as you walk!

Afterwards we went to the Rosarian rose planting, then headed back to Portland. We went to Red Robin for lunch, and we kept discovering that Victoria is so like the two of us that it's almost scary -- in a totally good way!

Then we took her, came home here and I changed and went straight to have a nap. I didn't get up until really late. We'd talked about going to the show with sister Sue, but we were both too tired. We'll probably do that tomorrow. She wants to see "Eclipse" now (after watching "Twilight" and "New Moon" with Nicole -- which I encouraged her to do), and we'd like to see it again, so...

We were both worn out, but it's no wonder considering the hours we pulled at work this week -- and how little sleep we got! Then walking that parade route and all over Battle Ground. We're out of shape, so it tuckered us out.

Monday we plan a road trip to Forks, Washington -- come hell or high water. Jeff had asked Marilyn if he could come by the house Monday for a meeting, but she informed him we wouldn't be here. She already spent part of a recent day off writing up his official bio and sending it to be translated for the trip, so I think that's good enough. I love Jeff, but he needs to catch a clue here. He's having to 'come back early' from his three-week vacation (half a day, or something) -- and Marilyn's been running the office and doing piles of major deadline work while he's been gone.

I like to see her actually get her Mondays OFF -- as she's supposed to -- this time of year, considering how hard she works ALL year round. I'm the one who gets pretty adamant about it, actually.

And we TOTALLY didn't mind giving up more than half of our Saturday to go with Victoria, as we love her and it was great fun! We were invited to the court event by our friend Leslie that was happening this evening (that Victoria was going to attend -- along with three courts from 2008, 2009 and 2010), but opted out to rest. Leslie wants to get together for a drink next week, which we totally need to do.

Going back to the Pinnacle Awards and the addition of PDFs, it is a lot more work. You need to PDF everything you're submitting and burn it to a CD -- the idea being that they can then share the things the winners submit with everyone. I was originally annoyed by this (we have enough to do to make the IFEA deadline as it is, being so close to the end of our festival), but I've ended up loving it! Now we'll have cool copies of our own submissions, which they don't return to us. (They will if you request it, but they CHARGE quite a bit, so we never do.)

It's hard to describe the work that goes into these submissions. The write needs to be good and compelling, the question asked needs to have a meaningful answer, the collateral needs to be good and the photos do, as well. We're good at what we do, so we know how to share our events and programs (etc.) really well -- which is why we always win so many awards each year. But we're into it, so it's worth all the effort!

I had my usual hard time selecting three of our eNewsletters to submit out of all of them. It still annoys me that they look at print-outs rather than an email or the web version (!!!), but whatever. eNewsletters are interactive, so hard copy just doesn't cut it. But whatever!

Our Auction PowerPoint from 2009 was also entered, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's received kudos constantly when we share it, so you never know... (And I won't even mention the website. You never know what the judges are looking for, but I think we have a pretty amazing site...)

On that note, I'd like to go read my book and get some more SLEEP. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and Monday -- and a more relaxed (I hope) work-week next week!

I have PILES of IT-related work to start tackling, so...

Time for relaxation! And (hopefully) I'll have a photo-share later.

bummed out

More Festival Layoffs... (sigh)

In 2007, we had four layoffs at the festival during the summer (in July).

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Marilyn's sweet boy Henry (Tudor Cat) is currently in my lap, very demanding of my attention. I guess I'd better give him some before we head out for our tanning apointment (it's at 9:00, so we have to leave by 8:30 p.m. to get there).

Rafa's match was a good one. He played Ryler De Heart (of the U.S.A.), who was very game! He and his finance seemed like cool people...

Regardless, I was pleased to see Nadal win in three: 6-1, 6-2, 6-4


Work (Play), Work (Play)... (smile)

I had to work on Monday, which had not been planned at all.

Marilyn mistressmarilyn took me in after Rafa's match was over -- then she went to Sauvie Island with sister Sue to pick green tomatoes.

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We BOTH worked today -- but we'd known all along that we were going to need to.

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Tom came by the office today!!! He brought us Starbucks (we were both out, so we were excited to get it!!!) and he and I went to lunch, which was very nice. He also donated $20 to one of the local organizations that runs posters of missing children when a woman hit him up, reminding me why I love this guy. He's incredibly generous.

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I didn't get very much done today at the office, although I tackled several projects. But it was fun 'goofing off' with Tom! So what the hell.

I recently finished a book I liked and have now started another (and am half way through it). I've been playing a TON of Zuma, too. So in spite of work, I've been playing and enjoying my vacation. (grin)

It's now 4:30 a.m. (time flies and all that), so I should go to bed.

We've planned our ROAD TRIP with Tom for Friday (rather than tomorrow), based on the fact that Rafa Nadal will be playing his second round at the U.S. Open tomorrow, which is a 'must see.' More about that soon!

I still have more photos to share (as usual), too...