Sunday, October 17, 2010


Okay, so my son was invited to a movie night Friday with both girls and boys... he's a 7th grade boy... At the same time my daughter had a swim meet (which she couldn't swim at, as she'd been sick that day, but I'd committed to selling concessions and the hubby was signed up for timing), PLUS, it was picture night, so daughter went for those and to cheer, even if she couldn't swim after missing school.

On a side note, daughter came in first in her heat last week—it was the 'other heat' so not the state-bound superstars, but it has lit a fire under her and she is excited about swimming again, where before it was only a 'means to waterpolo'. But I digress (and there was much rejoicing)

So anyway... drove son to this GIRL'S house (heard girls a couple houses away shrieking about him by name—my GAWD how embarrassing to have a stereotypically POPULAR child), and walked him to the door, through much balking and embarrassment on his part, and asked for the 'responsible adult'--just to ensure there WAS one, and to ensure this 'party of sorts' wasn't a surprise to the parents.

The dad? *fans self* (not at ALL unlike the man to the right) He was a darling man... cute in a sort of precious way (and by precious I mean had a nice smile and a dimple)... but... OHMYGAWD... the Irish accent gets me... BAD... especially when saying things like 'rules' and 'I'll be checking'. It's possible there was drooling involved.


And because I am really nice, I am going to share a little of my favorite state...

Mt. Hood and Portland, from the West.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach--my favorite vacation spot as a teen.

Windsurfing at Hood River--a world famous place for it because the Columbia River provides a constant current and the wind never stops.

And then we have my favorite place in the whole wide world... The Columbia River Gorge...

(isn't it fabulous?!)

 And its prize feature, Multnomah Falls...

So there you have it... two of my weaknesses... I am trusting you not to use them to undermine the Naked World Domination mission.

And finally,...

Orangutan Love

This is an old story, but it is one of my favorites. We decided in late 1999 that we would leave Portland. Our family loved it and it was hard to go, but Oregon followed California into the property tax limitation folly that stopped schools from really PLANNING—taxes being more predictable than allocations of state funds... and Thing One was approaching kindergarten. Besides that, I have an MS in psychology, which in most places means low level jobs, as the high level ones require PhDs and there ARE NO mid-level jobs... except at the Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor MI... So I started applying for mid-level jobs.

We did a few things before leaving though... spend a long weekend in Lincoln City (the Oregon Coast)... and we went to the ZOO...

Thing 2 was in a stroller at the time (he was less than 2) and we got to the orangutan pen... strolled up... and the big daddy spotted 'the baby'... He is huge. Probably 5'5” but THICK—I bet he weighs 250 or more. He approached the glass and put his hands up in the air and pressed his face against the glass and just STARED. He watched and watched... People started gathering around saying, 'look! He's watching the baby!” (MY baby!) I bet we all stayed locked like that for 10 minutes before big daddy made a kissy face at Thing Two and strolled away. It really is not that mysterious to me how babies end up cared for in the wild—we all love the babies of each others' species. (look what a good dad he is!)

And this just in:  The Burrow needs YOUR HELP to tweak our Weekly Drabble Dare.  Please come give your opinion!


The Words Crafter said...

How sweet about the big daddy watching your baby! That's really neat! But I'm glad there was a protective barrier....

Irish accents *getting weak in the knees thinking about it* wow. Even Scottish ones, do me in....

I'm surprised and impressed that you could maintain enough to make it back home!

Cold As Heaven said...

Great picture of Mt. Hood. Never been there myself, but I have a friend who worked as a alpine racing instructor there for some summers.

Kid's sports, that's an interesting subject. Very often, the kids are introduced to sports that parents like. Therefore, my boys have become skiers. I took older boy to alpine racing practise when he was 7 yo. When he was 13 he wanted to quit becuase he wanted to start competing in freestyle. I thought that's OK; I chose alpine racing for him; he chose frestyle himself. Better when motivation comes from the inside. Now it's the same story again, I'm bringing little boy to alpine racing practice ... >:)

Cold As Heaven

Mason Canyon said...

Cute stories. Love the photos. The one of Mt. Hood and the waterfall are breathtaking. Have a great Sunday.

Thoughts in Progress

Jemi Fraser said...

Hope your son had a great time at the party - and good for your daughter in the swimming!

Love the story about the zoo - and those pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

Matt said...

Great stories, all of them!
And yes, it is great to suddenly have a boost in my overall attractiveness when I go abroad..

Bridge Marie said...

Haha, cute orangutan story and nice pics. And oh my gosh, Irish accents... I don't know what it is about them, but the second a guy with an Irish accent starts talking, I'm pretty much done for. Southern Ireland, in particular, like Cork... yum.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwwww!!! What a lovely story of how your gorgeous boy enamoured daddy orangutan (one of my absolutely favourite animals ever!!!!). And now look at handsome son!!!

Ooooh Irish dad sounded cute too!! My, my, my!!

Congrats to your daughter for coming first with her swimming!! I hope she is feeling better now though - poor thing but yay for her!!

Thanks for sharing these pics of your hood!! What a lovely place - yes the Gorge is FANTASTIC!!

Have a great Sunday! Take care

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nice photos and story about the orangutan.
Do you ever entice your husband to fake an Irish accent for you?

LTM said...

LOL at you going gaga over the "responsible adult." Did you also have crushes on teachers in HS??? ;p j/k

so funny about your son--animals of all variety find him irresistable... look out! ;p

Deb and Barbara said...

Ohmigawd, fer sure!!! That story about the orangutan is the cutest EVER!!!
Thanks for pulling that one from the archives.

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Oh, I hear ya on the Irish! My God. Drooooool. Everyone loves that accent. And there was much rejoicing.

pineconegirl said...

OMG - I am so homesick right now. Having been there, done that for every place you posted, and really missing them - thanks for the jolt and reminders!

Ah - 7th graders - it's a whole new world. I remember when we were in 7th grade, and every parent pretty much new every other one.

Irish accents - visceral reaction all around.

RaShelle said...

Hart - That is soo sweet!!! BTW, Calling your children Thing 1 and Thing 2 - ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Hilarious. =D

ps: I'm still blown away by the fact that you wrote 6 novels in the past 14 months. How the hell? Can we chat?

Helena said...

I've only been in Oregon once and that was when I drove up the entire length of the coast. It was stunning! Easily one of the most goregeous places on earth. Throw in a sweet orangutan and it's perfect. Except for the taxes/job thing.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely and entertaining post. Oh I love a Irish accent :o)

Babs DiFiore said...

Great story about the dad with the Irish accent. I always took the accent for granted because my grandparents and half my neightbors were from Ireland. I wonder which county he hails from?

Cheeseboy said...

I really need to work more on my Irish accent.

Mustang Sally said...

The photo from Haystack Rock is just gorgeous! The orangutan story is one of those wow moments that makes a forever memory. As for the accent mmmm yes Irish (or Scottish ... or Aussie)and in that kind of package? How'd you make yourself go home?

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you SO MUCH for being so fabulous and commenting all day despite my absence! I've read all comments, but have been sent into indentured servitude... hubby has a Sunday class... two, sort of... 3 hour class then 3 hour lab, so I have to ADD to the laundry both dinner and whatever cleaning I think I can manage (changing bed and litter box today) So I didn't manage to comment back, but I love you ALL!

I'll take this moment to introduce Matt (aka:L Neil) to Bridge... you two are pretty close to the same age and might make each other very happy... *cough*

Those PICS are supposedly the SAME orangutan... I searched for the Portland Zoo orangutan... He is also known to play peekaboo... He really has a great personality.

Gary Baker said...

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams..."

Rayna M. Iyer said...

That story about Thing 2 being watched by the littlest monkey without a tail (as my Thing 2 calls it) is the cutest ever.

And seeing Mt. Hood made me think of the awesome cover that a certain birthday boy designed for you,