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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I can't believe how fast the years go by! Last Saturday, I went to Salem for Emily's first offical track meet. It was at the same stadium that we sat in for so many of her Father's track meets. It was just so strange to be sitting there, as if the years had never passed. I felt like it could have been one of John's meets instead of hers. WHERE did those years go? When I got home, I dug out the albums and here is one of John when he was the same age as she was. Sorry, they just don't scan that well after all this time. And then here is one of Emily before the race with her Dad making sure her shoes are tied correctly. He should know about shoe tying. When he was her age, he ran in a cross country race. At the start of the race, they had to go through a huge mud puddle on their way into the woods. We didn't realize it until he came back out of the woods and only had one shoe on that he had lost his shoe in that puddle! He ran the whole race with only one shoe on! After it was done, we went to retrieve it from the mud, he knew exactly where to dig around for it. If I remember correctly, it was one of his best races too! We still laugh and laugh about that comes John from the woods yelling to us..."I lost my shoe in the mud!"
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Friday, April 24, 2009

OUCH! Well, now, let me tell you about my last run...and possibly I really do mean my LAST! Of course I know I don't really run, I jog...after the first mile of walking that is almost as fast as my jog, I jog, then walk fast up the hills and jog the rest of the way home. A little over 4 miles all together of fast walk, jogging. So as I was headed down the hill...I really headed head on the pavement down. Oh man! It happened so fast that I can not really remember how I got there, I can remember falling and thinking..."I'm falling" and then there I was. Sprawled out right there on the road! I didn't trip on anything, I think my foot came down on the side instead of the bottom and that caused it all. I've become kinda clumsy lately, sometimes just standing still, I will just fall off my shoe. Anyhow, I hit the road with my knees first, tearing right through my sweats and bloodied up my knees, then my palms, but they didn't get bloody and next to hit was my cheekbone. I can't remember hitting there, but behind my ear is a split and a bump bigger than the bump on my cheekbone. I think that I hit my cheek and then turned my head to keep it from scrapping as I slid down to the road fully (did I have time to even think of something like that?) and so I ended up with the most damage behind the ear. I remember just laying there hearing the ringing sound in my head. Kinda like that sound you hear when you dive under water. I got up out of the road and moved to the ditch to take inventory and figure out if I should call for John to come and get me. He had the day off and was out burning. I just did not want to resort to that, so after I figured out that I didn't have anything broken and there was only a tiny bit of blood and nothing gushing, I got up and finished up the workout...only really slowly. My head was pounding, there were spots in front of my eyes, but I was actually glad to make it home on my own. It made for way more sympathy that way. I could hardly wait to see the damages. The lump on my face was huge! I could see it out the corner of my eye. There was a little blood dripping off my earlobe onto my collar and so that was my other little badge. Blood always makes for more drama. After deciding I deserved to have some more pity, I called Dennis at work. (what good is it to have a doctor in the family if you can't call him, right?) I wanted to know if it was bad to take anything for the headache that was getting worse and worse. After he went down his mental checklist to make sure I was OK, (I could not believe that was my son actually) he decided it would be alright for me to take some Advil, since it is good for swelling. I followed up with a call to Jessi, my little nurse, but she was out of phone range, so I left a message for John to call me when he got off work and then I knew I would get the full range of sympathy I wanted. Oh right, I also put in a call to my Mom, you GOTTA call your Mom,...and she made sure and passed on the latest info to my Dad and sisters. So there I am...fully sympathized. Here is a picture that was taken tonight. I washed off the makeup so you could see it all...and now it looks like both eyes are bruised! I'm getting old! Gotta put that makeup back on asap! The swelling is down, but as each day passes, the eye is getting more purple, but not nearly as bad as the ear. I'm glad it is covered with hair, I'm done with the sympathy need for now. Well, maybe not...I put it all here for you to read, huh? p.s. I am sure glad I decided not to take my camera on my workout this time!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

happy birthday to me!!!
It was a great birthday. Abby was here for a conference in Portland all week, so we started out my birthday celebrations with a pedicure from the two of them on Wednesday. I have the prettiest toes! sparkly red polish with white flowers with silver sparkly centers. On Saturday, I invited everyone over to say goodbye to Abby and also celebrate my birthday. I made my recipe for ribs...mmm...and a few salads and hobo potatoes. I had two recipes for a cakes that I have been wanting to try, and could not decide which to make, so I made them both. Along with the cake, I made homemade chocolate, banana, coconut, almond ice cream. Good thing I made the ice cream, because the cakes were a disappointment.
The next morning since Abby had to get up early to head to the airport, I took off and met up with Bonnie and we then drove to Woodburn and met up with Rachel and Emily and the 4 of us headed to the tulip fields for early morning shots. We had hoped to make it there in time for the balloon launch, but didn't quite make it. We saw one there, but the others were off in the horizon as we drove up. Oh well, the tulips made up for it 100%! I took over 300 pictures! Once I got home, I got myself ready and went to Spanish church, then came home, found the last of the champagne from the night before and topped it off with some orange juice and sat in the amazing 80 degree sunshine to enjoy it. When John got home, we mowed the yard and went to Tad's for dinner. As we parked, I was so surprised to see that there stood Mom and Dad. I thought "What a coincidence!" but discovered John had called them to meet us there. It was a good birthday. I am pretty spoiled.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


"If you confess with your mouth 'Jesus Is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." Romans 10:9
DAT week is over now. It was a really busy week for us. For some reason, our team does not get as many calls as the other teams. Some weeks we don’t even get called out at all. Which is a good thing for us and those who are NOT having a fire! Fires are not the only thing we help out with, we also have flooding issues or trees on houses, we help with anything that is emergency disaster related. When I first joined the team, my first week of calls, I was so excited to get out there. I slept in my clothes! When that first call came through, I jumped right up and beat the captains to the fire! It was an extra busy week for our team that year and I got the required 3 calls that made me an official DAT (Disaster Action Team) member all that first week. Before that we are called MITs (Member in Training). The week started out with a fire on Friday night at 2 am. I am relief leader on our team. The team lead gets the call from the Red Cross dispatch or directly from the Fire Dept or client seeking assistance. Then he calls me after he verifies the information with the Fire Dept . I then make all the calls to get a team out there. (I just hate waking people up!) Either he or I will usually meet the team out there, depending on which of us lives closest to the fire. Then the other will wait home to take the call in case another fire call comes in. So on Friday, I met up with a new MIT to our team and took care of the first fire. He was so excited to get out on his first call. (he actually got his 3 calls in too and is official DAT now) Saturday, we had another fire, but the captain went out on it and I stayed home to be ready to take calls. Nothing on Sunday and then there were two daytime calls that were handled by daytime people at the office, two fires outside the Portland area which their teams took care of and we didn’t get anymore night calls until 3am Thursday. It was a big one. A 4 unit apartment fire. Three families were there, and one was at work when it happened. We assisted the 3 and just as we finished up, the 4th got home. Can you imagine coming home to that? Here is a middle of the night look at what we see when we arrive. I normally don't take pictures, but I thought it would be a good thing to show participants in the classes I teach about what they will see when they get out there. We are not allowed to take pictures with clients in them and also don't like to look like tourists out there enjoying their suffering, so I was really careful to take them when no clients were present. I have a picture here of the apartment when I first arrived and then one later on when it got light out. There is the burnt door, and the upper deck, always there is a huge pile of debris that the firemen remove to assure the fire won't reignite, usually it includes the remains of a bed. One of these pictures you can see the sky through the burnt boards. That is taken from the ground level looking up through then burnt deck...the sky is coming through the roof of the second floor. The holes were cut by the firemen to allow the fire to escape and help put it out without losing the whole building. The second floor apartment lost everything.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hi. My name is Vicki and I'm an addict.
I am addicted to taking pictures! I come by my addiction easily, since both of my Grandmothers enjoyed their photos and kept them all labeled and tucked away in albums. Of course, then my Mother also carried on with an album for every occasion. For me, my own picture taking began when I was a little girl and got my first camera from my Grandma Harman. (Here is a picture of the camera, Lindy got one too, it looks like I let Cyndi use mine that day. Can you believe it? What a nice sister I was.)My first camera was a little box type one that I had to flip open the top and look down into it and then click the side switch. Black and white film only. I had it forever, and treasured it, but somehow, through the years, I lost track of it, which I can not believe. It is not like me to have let it go without remembering where it went. But I am sure that as soon as it was replaced by a newer model, it was just forgotten. The trouble was, it was so expensive to have the pictures developed that I didn't get to take very many. It didn't even have a flash. My next camera did. Remember those cube flash cubes? I've been through my share of Kodak cameras. So through the years of being a newlywed, new mommy, vacations, and holidays, I have marked it all with photos. I can not imagine not having a camera in my hand for any of those events. And so it was. Eventually I was upgraded to a really nice Pentax as a Christmas gift from my parents. It was stolen, we replaced it, etc, etc. I was happy with my pictures....and then...just before John sent me off to Guatemala for my 50th birthday, he borrowed a little digital camera from a friend at work. Nothing fancy, it had a teeny tiny screen to view your pictures, but he wanted to see if I would move on into digital. I am sure that he was thinking about how much money he would save not buying film and developing. I was determined no way, I loved my Pentax and the lens it had for getting things close up and far away. I love my albums. I was not going to give up my albums and only have my photos on a computer. I was just not going to switch. But I gave it a try just to please him. By the time I got home from Guatemala 6 weeks later, I was kinda liking it, but not better. Pretty nice to see your shot right away, put it on the computer and send it off. You only had to pay to make copies of the ones you wanted. John went ahead and bought it from his friend. Pretty sneaky, huh? Little by little, I realized I was using my digital more than the film. And then one day, I realized I had not taken a real photo in a long long time. Then just before Christmas last year, John handed me a wad of money with orders to buy myself a good digital. I had been sneaking peaks at one online. A Pentax that would take my favorite lens from my film camera. I knew just what one I wanted. So I wasted no time and bought it before I chickened out. Every since, I don't think I have gone a whole day without taking a picture. It is amazing. With my little memory card in it, I can take way over 1,000 pictures!!! maybe even 2,000, I have not needed to find out. I load them onto my computer almost as soon as I take them and then clear off the card and go out and fill it up again. I have begun taking it with me when I go out for my jog. (my workouts are way not what they should be, but they are way more fun now!) I still have my albums, I don't think I will ever give them up, but they are a whole lot smaller than they used to be. Now, I only pick my favorite pictures to have printed. Just a few to mark the times. It is so much nicer handing over a small album to somebody after a vacation and they can just flip quickly through and see a few of the best stuff. I can still see the faces of some of the people as I have handed over those past albums, 6 inches thick, weighing 30pounds...their mouths dropping open and eyes popping...I'm sure they were thinking "you gotta be kidding!"

Blame my Grandmas for the picture taking, but it was Bonnie who got me into Flickr. Another picture addiction. It is a really fun way to show off your pictures. And only those who really want to see them go there. I really enjoy it. I load up a couple of pictures and people find them and make comments, sometimes you get invited to post your photo on a group's photostream and you can win little awards. I look over other people's pictures and see all kinds of things I want to do, and learn a lot about taking a better picture. It has gotten to be all I think about when I am out driving, or whatever else I do, it is "Oh, I need to take that for Flickr" So on Monday, I went with Bonnie to the Waterfront downtown and took pictures of the cherry trees in bloom. Now how many pictures can a person take of a cherry blossom? Well, I'll tell you. I came home with 249!!! OK, so some of them are not of blossoms. I found a seagull and some ducks and a pigeon. And you can't miss out on those fancy old fashioned lamp posts...and how about the water fountain...gotta get a few of it too...
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Thursday, April 2, 2009


This is Albert. He is from Barcelona, Spain. He stayed in our home as an exchange student when he was 16. We saw him again when we went to visit him in Spain when he was 18. Through the years, we have exchanged photos at Christmas, had an occasional phone call and made tons of promises to see each other again soon. Well, FINALLY, 20 years later, Albert was able to work in a trip to see us before a business trip to Las Vegas. He was here for 4 days. The time went so fast. We enjoyed it so much getting to know him as an adult.