Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big News from Windy

Hi family & friends-

Yesterday, Chris asked me to marry him, and I said Yes!!

We are very excited, and ready to start our lives together. We will keep you posted on a wedding date as soon as we decide on one (possibly this summer!). The wedding will be in Portland, Oregon.

Love you all! If you have met Chris, I know you already love him, and if you haven't met him yet, I know you will love him too. We are very happy, and looking forward to many happy years together!

Love, Windy

Monday, May 28, 2007

In memoriam…

Clarence “Andy” Anderson
1896 – 1964

Philip Sheldon Barnes
1892 – 1946
World War I Veterans

Mrs. W. G. Barnes
1866 – 1942
President, American War Mothers
1934 - 1935

Commemorative Bricks
laid in the Walk of Honor
at the Liberty Memorial
Kansas City, Missouri

Recognition Ceremony
May 30, 2005

attended by
Patricia Anderson
Daughter, Niece, Granddaughter

Monday, May 21, 2007

Global What?

Even though intellectually I suspect there is a connection, it is hard to believe that these temps in the 30s on mid-May mornings are related to global warming. I am waiting for the warming part to kick in! The winter weather continues, and this morning there is a steady rain pounding the roof and making the couch very appealing.

There were some “teaser” days last week when the sun was shining, and one day we had a high of 80 degrees, the warmest day since last September. I got outside and began fixing up my porch for summer sitting and knitting. Planted a little veggie garden in a wooden tub and re-potted plants that were Mother’s Day gifts. Hung up some more wind chimes.

Friday I began pulling out junk from behind the shed and taking it to the giant once-a-year trash pickup dumpster. Three wheelbarrow loads! Also one green garbage bag of unidentifiable yuck. In the process, I became entangled in wires and cords and managed to disconnect the phone line and damage the entire electrical circuit to the outbuildings. The lights are back on, but the phone is still kaput.

Coincidentally…but probably not related…Sunday the shower began to spew gray water out of the overflow pipe. Thankfully the water went that route instead of flooding the bathroom. We solved that problem too, but not until we were all soaking wet. Working outside in the rain is not my most favorite thing.

These home repairs were all done around activities on a busy weekend that included Farmer’s Market shopping, a trip to the Zoo, and a Friends Hike to Latourell Falls in The Gorge. Today I am glad to just hole up and stay dry and cozy inside. The cats and Buddy don’t care much for the rain, but Princess is in her element. So she comes in drenched and muddy and happy. Weather report says it's 33 degrees and snowing on Mt. Hood, in Government Camp and on the Santiam Pass. Wind advisory in The Gorge. Monday morning at The Hideaway.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Four Point Landing

Ashes…ashes…all fall down! I came a-cropper yesterday and look a little worse for the wear. As I was running with Buddy, I tripped and fell forward. I was close to the back of the car so as I went down I bonked my head on the bumper and then landed face down in the gravel. Result: a heckuva shiner and skinned forehead, nose and chin. Bruised elbow, knee and thumb. Of course, we were out in the boons.

Phil, Windy and I, along with the dogs, had headed out for a hike and picnic lunch at Whistle Punk Loop up in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We stopped in the little town of Stevenson, WA for sandwiches to take along. Then after an hour of bumping over back roads and about a mile from our final destination, we stopped to let Buddy out for a potty break.

Buddy, as you know, is “jump challenged” and needs a running start to leap into the car. I had him on a leash and was running alongside him when I lost my footing and went down ka-boom. Right into the back of the car. Buddy did not jump and instead freaked out thinking he had hurt me or done something wrong. Princess was in the car and also very concerned. Windy and Phil were at my side in a heartbeat and calmed me down.

Fortunately I had a little first-aid kit along so Phil cleaned me up and picked the rocks out of my lip and nose. I also had plenty of towels in the car (I have water dogs) so we mopped up the blood. Stopped at a little nearby market for ice which we put in an (unused!) poop bag and put the pack on my face.

Then an hour’s drive back to town and four hours in the Emergency Room. Scott met us there. We never got our hike or our lunch. After a cat scan, x-rays, and monitoring of my blood pressure and sleepiness, it was determined that I did not have a concussion or any broken bones. Bruises, cuts, abrasions, soft tissue contusions, wrenched ligaments (that’s a familiar Dx), and a black eye. Bruised ego.

I’m okay. It could have been worse. But it sure ruined a nice day and has left me looking like something from the Addams family.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

R.I.P. Betty

My 82-year old neighbor here in the Park passed away last week. Very suddenly. She worked as a Greeter at Wal-Mart right up to the end. Came home early on Friday feeling very tired and was gone by Monday. She had one of the best kept homes in the Park. She was very proud that she still had her driver’s license and that her son had failed in his attempts to take away her car keys. She rarely drove farther than five miles, but she kept the car sparkling clean and well-maintained.

I often stopped to visit with her on my walks with the dogs. Like many older folks, she missed having a pet and fondly remembered ones she had had in the past. My dogs often serve as surrogates in that regard. She usually forgot my name, but remembered Princess and Buddy.

Now when I pass by her house, the shades are drawn and the blinds closed and there are dead leaves collecting on the windshield of the car. The dogs pause as if expecting a cheerful hello. She will be missed.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Remember the Wobblies?

What do the names Big Bill Haywood, Daniel De Leon, Eugene V. Debs, Thomas J Hagerty, Lucy Parsons, Mary Harris Jones (commonly known as “Mother Jones”), William Trautmann, Vincent Saint John and Ralph Chaplin mean to you? Is it time to refresh your memory of the history of the Labor Movement?

May 1st, International Workers' Day, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world, and is recognized in every country except the United States, Canada, and South Africa. This despite the fact that the holiday began in the 1880s in the United States, with the fight for an eight-hour work day.

Today, marches across the country remind us of the importance of protest in securing the rights of working people.

As IWW songwriter Joe Hill wrote in one of his most powerful songs:

Workers of the world, awaken!

Rise in all your splendid might
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
No one will for bread be crying
We'll have freedom, love and health,
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Workers' Commonwealth.

Joe Hill himself is memorialized in a song popularized by singer Joan Baez “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night.” When Fr. George visited a few months ago, he and Windy sang this song together with many “extra” verses George had written.

Many of you know the bullet hole in the antique walnut secretary in my living room came from a labor uprising among newspaper workers in Kansas City. Possibly this was one of the first documented “drive-by shootings” and aimed at my Grandfather’s house in the early 1900’s.

These are some of my Labor Movement memories on the "Real Labor Day."