John and Maxwell

The two buddies together once we had finally reached our next destination, the Astoria Column.

Astoria ColumnGetting there was quite the adventure – and not a 100% fun one, either.


Goonies House

Are you familiar with the movie The Goonies?  I wasn’t before we visited Astoria, but it was a favorite of John’s when he was young (rightly so, being a quintessential young boy’s adventure movie).  It’s set in Astoria, and when John realized that, we had to watch it.  Evidently our idea wasn’t unique, because when we called down to the front desk of the hotel to ask if they had any movies available to borrow, the answer was – “well, we have The Goonies….”

(Fun fact – it’s got a young Samwise Gamgee in it.)

The thing is, the actual house that’s the setting of the first part of the movie is an actual house in an actual neighborhood in Astoria, and it’s labeled right on the map, so of course the next day we had to go and see it.  It’s conveniently located at the east end of town, so after we passed the Sea Lion dock, we headed south into the residential streets.  The land climbs steeply (and so do the roads – more on that later) so soon we were not far from the river laterally, but quite high above it, in front of The House!

John and Max in front of the Goonies House


John was a little sad because in the movie, there is a huge and elaborate Rube Goldberg device in the yard that allows you to open the gate from inside the house, and – surprise! – there was no such thing there in real life (any longer).

It was also a little awkward, because there were a lot of other people trekking up and down the driveway to take photos in front of the house.  We had to wait for a few minutes before our turn came up for a photo.   However, it was pretty cool to see, and we were both glad to take the little side excursion.

Fun with effects

Comic Book styleDot-art comic book style…

Me - pop art style


… and pop-art style.  These are just taken with my computer webcam, using the silly effects in photo booth.

(That’s a hood that I have pulled up over my head, by the way, not a new hair style.)

Look – we’re colorful!

Me and John

In other words: this is me being lazy, and procrastinating on any sort of “real” photography.  Part of it is that I have a lot of photos from the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Michigan, that I haven’t sorted through – and part of it’s that the weather hasn’t seemed very photo-friendly lately.  When I’m outside, the light is flat and gray or bright and harsh, and nothing looks very pretty or interesting.  Hopefully that will turn around soon!

Also: I intend to have a new blog style soon.  I have decided I am not cut out for a monthly, or even seasonly header image change, when I have to mess with the image in Pages to get the blog title in.  I am on the lookout for a new theme, and perhaps a year-round image that I can use up top.  I might experiment with things a little, so as a heads-up: you may have to “pardon the dust” for a few days around here.


Beach Silliness

Even though John has not been willing to participate in joke photos in the past, he agreed this time.  Yay.

About to take a bite out of Castle Rock

That is Castle Rock that he’s snacking on, by the way.


John: thanks for humoring me!

Everybody else: Happy weekend!  We will be having a garage sale, and are very glad to be almost done with it.

Weekend at the Coast (with Bromptons)

John and I headed to the coast for the long weekend, where we had a great time reading, relaxing, eating tasty food, and – most fun of all – riding around on two rented Brompton bikes.

Getting out the Brompton for the first time.

These unusual bikes fold into tiny little packages with just a few twists and pulls, which is why we rented them; we can put both of them (plus a decent amount of luggage) into the back of our car (a Honda fit), without having to fold down the back seat.  I didn’t take a photo of that car/bike configuration, but here – as we wait for the Cannon Beach parade – you can see them in their folded states.

Waiting for the Parade; Folded Bromptons

Also very useful: the front luggage block that allows for luggage, very easily added and removed.  We brought a basket, for Maxwell (which he thoroughly enjoyed) and a “touring bag” which held a ridiculously large amount of stuff.  At one point I was carrying our two folding chairs (flat), two helmets, sun hats, sweatshirts, a small throw/blanket, towels, water for all three of us, a book, snacks, and my knitting bag – and I’m pretty sure I still had room to spare.

We had several fun biking adventures, and a great 4th of July celebration – more on all of that, and about the Bromptons, to come.  I realize I haven’t even gotten to my Garden photos from our trip to Chicago yet – but they’re coming also.  Slowly but surely, I hope.

John and Maxwell with Haystack Rock in the background

Sturgeon petting


It’s a busy week, and we’ll probably be having another couple of busy weeks after this one, but I am really excited about my photos from Chicago … so I’m planning to post just a couple of my favorites every day (or, hopefully, at least most days).  No huge sets of photos – but it might go on for quite a while.

For the first installment – Sturgeon petting at the Shedd Aquarium!

Sturgeons are evidently quite friendly, and are happy to approach people to be petted.  (Flat-handed only, though; no poking!)  I really had had no idea.  At any rate, I was not quite up for sticking my hand in there with them, but  John was willing.  He was (maybe) a (tiny) bit wary, but approached the fish bravely.

Sturgeon Petting!

… and when one approached him – petted it.

John petting a Sturgeon

Evidently they are a little bit slimy.  Friendly, but slimy.

Friendly but slimy.

Beautiful Oregon

In going through some of my older photos, I realized I completely left off our tour of oregon last fall, and never picked it back up again.  Today has been a day full of lots of news (including some great news from my brother Ryan), and lots of work (including a super-cute knitting project that I’ll show you … soon), so to keep this blog post simple, here are some more photos from our Labor Day road trip through Oregon.  Varied landscapes, and the beautiful Deschutes River….



Open Road





John and Max at the Deschutes River




Deschutes River





Shawl in situ


I had a request to put up some photos of my shawl (the less dramatic counterpart to the shrug), so here you go …  in all its nicely blocked glory.

Shawl back

And as long as I’m going through the (very few) photos I took over the weekend, here are a couple more.  Of John looking handsome in his tux…

Handsome John

Us together after dinner:


And another shot of my shawl (thanks Mom!):



And of course the obligatory self-portrait.

Obligatory self-portrait

Birthday Sparklers

While we were in Salt Lake City, John had a significant birthday – he’s flipped over a decade, and now is 30!  (Happy Birthday, John!) For his birthday gift, Mom and Dad took us all to La Caille, which is a very tasty, very beautiful restaurant up at the foot of the mountains.

La Caille

Afterward, amidst the beautiful Christmas decorations and glittering snow, we lit giant sparklers and played.

Lighting Sparklers


Lighting more sparklers

This was supposed to be in lieu of birthday candles, since we couldn’t bake a cake, but it was pretty cold so we didn’t go through all thirty.

I also don’t have a large enough maximum aperture (on either my old lens or new) to capture these nighttime shots blur-free – but you can see how happy we all were, despite the cold.



fun with sparklers!


We had lots of fun trying to write things in the dark (although Jonathan’s “happy birthday John” didn’t get past the h) …

sparkling infinity

… and were grateful to be able to warm ourselves by the fire afterward.

Post-sparkler Fireside Warmth