Colors of Winter

15 01 2017

Ok fine, I did it. I pulled out my DSLR and my fingerless gloves to give Winter another photoshoot. My first winter in Twisp with J, I did the same thing – I couldn’t NOT take photos of the splendor outside my windows (click to see the post). The icicles intrigued me most and I took hundreds of photos that day.

Time to try again. This time, it wasn’t so much the snow that piqued my curiosity, but rather the hidden color peeking out of it. On my long walks, I’ve been noticing how the world has taken on the look of an old black and white movie. But if you look closer, colors that would normally just blend in with the landscape become happy contrast against the blurred monotony of snow.

The ordinary becomes extraordinary. The bland becomes brilliant. The boring becomes the central focus.

The cobalt of the newspaper boxes pops in the snowbank. The hunter trashcans and royal recycle buckets decorate the curbs. The various greens and browns and grays suddenly all vie for attention. LOOK AT ME! I’M SO PRETTY AGAINST ALL THE BORING WHITE!!! Little things scream at out at me as I start searching – once my focus has been adjusted, color is everywhere!

buried fire hydrant, hood river winter 2017

Peek-a-boo hydrant


recycle hood river oregon winter 2017

Recycling is beautiful

The cold temperatures have kept everything frozen, so it’s still crisply white – no gray sludge to be seen!

rosebushes in winter PNW 2017

Pretty rose hips


snow wagon Hood River OR winter 2017

Primary colors

They obviously don’t have kids or that huge yard wouldn’t be so untouched. (Do you wanna build a snowman..?)

winter leaves PNW 2017

Even the browns are lovely


snow drifts Hood River 2017

50 Shades of Gray….


Rocky Road, Hood River 2017 winter

Side of Rocky Road

And my favorite little splash of color:

snow dog PNW winter 2017

Yesterday the sun peeked out but today is gloomy once more. Snow flakes are dancing and I’m thinking it’s time to venture out of our own neighborhood. I’m sure I can rouse Simba from his fireside rug to head out for one or two more adventures before it’s time for reality to return.

Who knows what magic we’ll find next!!



Weddings, Love, Torture and All That Fun Stuff

12 08 2012

Two down, one more to go. Let’s face it people, we’re elbows-deep in wedding season.  At some point, all my friends will be married and there will be no more nuptials to attend…right?

Ok, so I do actually like attending these special occasions, mostly because I really do like my friends. They’re good people. And celebrating is always a good time. But this last wedding was a bit different. I was a bit more invested.  And let’s face it, after two weeks, I still feel like I’m recovering. Now that is the sign of a roaring good time.

On July 29th, my best friend said the magic words and swapped jewelry with a man she now shares a last name with (and who happens to be her best friend – I hear this is a good thing). It was magical. And there is not one ounce of sarcasm in that statement. So magical I bawled like an infant and was holding her bouquet along with mine, so all the tissue I shoved into the front of my dress did me NO GOOD. (Ok, maybe a little good in that it helped me fill out the dress….)

Being in my late 20’s, going to weddings seems to be as common as going to the bar (ok, not quite, but then I might be a lush). But this wedding, this particular one, was captivating. The simplicity, the uniqueness, the atmosphere…even as I type this all I can think is that there are no words to describe it. I”ll try anyway.

Simple – yes, yet elegant. We bridesmaids were barefoot, and the bride wore Toms! But her dress was incredible, accentuating her tall, lithe figure, everyone’s hair looked gorgeous, our sunflowers popped against our green dresses. We stood in the grass next to an adorable pond and squinted into the sun. But the atmosphere, the air around us – this is what perplexes me the most. Who ordered the shimmer? How did they get those little twinkle stars stuck in their eyes like that? And how on earth did they manage to electrify the air with emotion, anticipation and *gasp!* so much LOVE?!

You may or may not have met my best friend or her new husband, but it’s completely obvious even to strangers what a match these two are. Their self-written vows about sent me straight to sob-ville. Watching them on a normal day you can tell they’re just crazy for each other. Watching them on their wedding day was like looking up “Match Made In Heaven” in the dictionary and seeing a picture of them instead of a text definition. The ceremony was the kind of thing that could make even a bitter, cynical old grouch believe in love again. It seeped from them, covering everyone and everything, making the whole place sparkle.

outdoor summer wedding kiss Bend OR

The Big Kiss – can’t you see the MAGIC?!?!

Had enough of the sappy part yet? Too bad. Just kidding, I’ll move on to How We Tortured the Texans.

The Bride and I are pals from college, back in Texas. So her nuptials were also like a huge family reunion. We share a lot of friends, so her saying “All my friends from Texas are coming!!” meant that all my friends from Texas were coming! (A lot of these friends don’t actually even live in Texas any more, but we’re all from Texas, so we classified the whole bunch as Texas regardless of current residence.) They started trickling in the Wednesday before the wedding, and the shananigans just got crazier every time more arrived!

The first thing you need to know about Texans: they don’t walk. We could be headed to the 7-11 on the corner of our  block for a slurpee and we would jump in somebody’s truck to get us there. In Bend, Oregon, people walk or bike absolutely everywhere. Texas was not pleased when they discovered our evening bar hopping consisted of walking from bar to bar. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were starting in downtown, but we started at 10 Barrel brewery, which is a good 5 or 6 blocks from downtown. At least none of the girls wore stilettos! And the Bride kept consoling them with “Don’t worry, it’s only about 2 blocks.” Texas now thinks everything in Bend is two blocks apart. The Groom figured out that he could just clap as we walked and Texas would follow the sound. It’s now the running joke that you just need to clap and Texas will get up and follow you….

Possibly as revenge, we also managed to get kicked out of 3 bars over the course of their visit. Well, kicked out of 2, and we pissed off the bartender at another so that she would no longer serve us, so we removed ourselves. These were not fancy bars that we weren’t properly dressed for and were asked to leave because the boys wouldn’t tuck in their shirts – no, these were the low-class, seedy dives where we didn’t even know it was possible to get kicked out of. We’re that good. (One of the guys commented after that they were trying to get the Bride kicked out of Bend so she would be forced to return to Texas. That’s what awesome friends we have! 🙂 )

Texas is also not the most outdoorsy bunch. “Outdoorsy” to them is floating the calm, warm waters of the Comal River with a cooler and tube shoots, or laying on a boat on Town Lake. So we introduced them to Oregon “outdoorsy”. First up: whitewater rafting. Don’t worry, no one died. The faces were priceless, though, the first time they felt the frigid temperatures of the Deschutes River. The guide told us we were in a deep, calm spot so we were welcome to jump out for a swim. The Groom (and Oregon native) immediately did a nice little hop off the back of the boat. One nice, big Texan squealed like a little girl when he was splashed and refused to so much as touch the water. Then the Bride pushed her brother overboard and others finally took the plunge, even the Bride. However, when the Bride needed assistance back into the boat, her darling brother picked her up by the back straps of her life jacket and the back of her shorts and hauled her back in the boat. Not humiliating at all…

white water rafting Big Eddy Deschutes Bend OR

Texas in a BOAT (*No Texans were injured in the making of this photo.)

The next day, we headed back to the river to try out stand-up paddle-boarding. This is huge in Bend right now. You basically stand on a big surfboard-looking contraption and paddle around. How hard could that be? Pretty frikin’ hard when you’re going upstream against a pretty mean current, not to mention just finding your balance to stay on while paddling at the same time. But we soon got the hang of it and had a pretty great time.

paddle boarding Deschutes Bend OR

A little unsure as the dudes explained what to do…

stand-up paddle boarding Descutes Bend OR


We floated on the high of our accomplishment to another brewery for food and beer to revive ourselves, then jumped on our afternoon activity – CyclePub! Texas had never seen such a contraption (it’s basically a cart of sorts with 12 seats where each person has to pedal. Spin class with booze) and the novelty of it had everyone initially stoked. The hills, however, soon had us huffing and puffing and accusing the Bride of trying to make us all lose weight for the wedding. But the blaring tunes and hot bartender kept us going, even after we accidentally broke a chain and then required the assistance of the driver on a set of pedals to get us up a gnarly hill. Go Texas, go!!

CyclePub Bend OR

We did it guys! Let’s go nap.

After such an exhausting day, we really needed a nap. But there was no time for such nonsense! Back to the bars! We did make this night fairly uneventful and turned in early – we were too sleepy to get into any fun. Saturday, we had tentative plans for more exploring, but Texas had had enough. Everyone lounged, relaxed, did their own thing. I wandered over to the house where the Bride’s family was staying and kidnapped her brother, cousin, and niece for a nice walk. Before long, the day was almost gone and it was time to get gussied up for the rehearsal dinner. The Groom’s parents planned a great event in the beautiful Mountain Room at the top of the Deschutes Brewery. (This is Bend, people, of course everything is at a brewery!!) Amazing food along with these amazing people, lovely views accompanied by lovely music – it was a spectacular evening. Several of us girls used to all work at Best Buy together in college, where we not only started amazing friendships, but turned those friendships into family-ships. A photo-op was totally called for…and in true old school Best Buy style….

Mountain Room Deschutes Brewery rehearsal dinner

Always inappropriate, always misbehaving, always fabulous

Of course, we couldn’t call it a day after that lovely dinner, so we took our hawt selves downtown once again for more raging. We played pooled, we danced, we got asked to please get off the table, we got separated, we got escorted “politely” out the door. So fantastic. Texas really knows how to throw down, and this night was no exception. Thankfully, all us ladies still managed to make it to our brunch Sunday morning where we were getting ready. The Officiant, a close friend of the Bride and Groom’s, opened her house to us and laid out all sorts of fantastic food and beverages. Spoiled us rotten. Slowly, we transformed from a haggard, hungover, cranky group of hot messes into a beautiful, excited, fancy group of giddy girls crying over the Bride in her dress and laughing at the antics of the little flower girls. We headed to the park for some pictures then loaded into a limo for a calm cruise around town before the wedding. So amazing.

The fun was not over after the incredible ceremony. Oh, no, the real fun had not yet even begun! We boozed it up while chatting and waiting for dinner, then stuffed our faces with more delicious food. Then came the music. We all cried when the Bride danced with her Daddy and laughed when the couple pulled out some awesome moves for their own first dance. Then we hit the floor to cut a rug alongside the newlyweds to some rockin’ Texas country, booty music, and line dancing. Many Orgonians looked utterly confused by the foreign dancing, but we soon pulled many of them out there with us and melded our styles into one big party. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that much fun dancing – and I love to dance!

Monday was a sad day, as friends started drifting back home. Our crazy reunion was over, a new group forged to include spouses and new friends. We were so full of the wonderfulness of having us all together that we would just sit and grin at the remaining faces, spontaneously hugging to make sure it was real. We always know our friends are out there – we talk and text and facebook-stalk all the time. But that physical togetherness just doesn’t happen often enough. I know everyone thinks they have pretty great friends – you wouldn’t be friends with them if they weren’t pretty great, right? – but I can’t help but feel deep down that my friends are just, well, way better than yours.


Seventh Inn rafting Deschutes River Bend OR

Little pieces of my heart are scattered across the US with these amazing people

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