Tag Archives: animals

Way Back in the Woods


It’s been so long since I posted. I’ve been painting instead of writing. Got into a semi-abstract painting phase and I love it. I have an interesting show in Baker City, Oregon right now at the Short Term Gallery. Baker City is a small town with lots of art and truly creative people. Since I got home from the opening of the show I’ve been reading, walking my dog Cody, wrangling cats and doing a lot of thinking.
I like having a break. I’ve lived in the woods for a long time and am used to being alone. Timber Valley is totally different from Portland, Seattle, The Dalles or Hood River. Sometimes it can seem really lonely when you are fourteen miles up from the Columbia River Gorge and you aren’t a windsurfer, kayaker or fisherman.  The woods and mountain are beautiful.  Lots of places to hike and hang out on the Klickitat River or the Columbia. But if we want to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner it involvesmaking a plan“. There are no meals to buy within walking distance. The closest actual business  is the Appleton Post Office…with an outhouse and a tiny woodstove. Even it is only open four half-days per week.  There is no Starbucks or even a Taco Bell (my favorite) in Timber Valley.  It’s a 50 minute drive to get to the nearest place to have a meal out.  When we moved up here from Portland years ago I’m sure some of our friends thought we had disappeared into the wild. We are out of sight, unreachable by car especially in the winter, invisible, gone but not forgotten. Everyone is busy.  I know.  I don’t often leave home for Portland to visit either.  Our lives are too fast and complicated even though we would like to keep in touch with everyone. Living this far away from civilization is even harder when you have the curse of slow dial up on your computer.  Because of that most of my life is off line. I know that not being “connected” is unheard of these days.  I have totally accepted it. I try to keep up with what everyone is doing. Believe it our not I am on Facebook. I am on S- L- O- W  Facebook.  For me to write a simple post it takes at least ten times longer than anyone else. The computer keeps timing out. Often it freezes. Any unwanted advertising, or “Like this Page” notifications get so complicated that my computer will sit forever before it downloads anything and usually will just turn off. I’m “timed out”. I must “refresh”. I spend most of my on-line time just waiting for something to happen. But I love to see what my friends are doing…they are so amazing.  I’m beginning to accept the wait just for the news.  Sometimes I feel weird putting my life into short posts for everyone in the universe to read…or  not read but just respond. Facebook sometimes makes me sad for the silliest reasons.  I don’t have a better connection. I don’t have more online friends (I guess over 200 isn’t enough for me).   I don’t get enough likes. Am I crazy? I never know what to post. I have some odd interests that don’t seem to be anything most people want to chat about or share. I guess I’ll have to learn patience, wait, and accept my own slow cyberspace or perhaps get up out of my chair and take a hike!
Bear Wakes Up (acrylic on canvas) 14 x18 175.00
It is bear season in Timber Valley. It’s always bear season in Timber Valley but this year there are more than usual. They have been clearcutting lots of the properties on SDS lands. Log trucks, chain saws, mud and old found tires litter the roads. Think beautiful Doug Firs, tall and elegant, ripped down, cut and stacked on now barren properties. Much land that used to be green and lush is now brown. The lupine is gone, the vetch is gone and all of the ground cover is gone. The animals are all confused. They have to move into new territory, rebuild nests, hives and other homes. Logging companies leave enough green to make it seem “not so bad”. They re-plant baby trees…usually pine instead of Doug Fir…and line many of them up near the highway hoping no one will notice how many are missing. This year our favorite pond, Disappearing Pond, has been so disrupted we only have one nesting pair of ducks and only three ducklings there.  More bears are around this spring. Mother bears and baby bears. Bears up trees and bears climbing up phone poles are seen early in the morning. I haven’t seen our usual bear who steals our crabapples yet. Who knows where he is hanging out now? Maybe he’s thinking of moving to Portland or Seattle.
I’m going to post a couple of my new acrylic pieces for anyone that wants to see them. Remember these are at Short Term Gallery in Baker City if you want to buy one. Hope you “like” this post. I don’t get lots of hits on my website but it is certainly a good place for me to ramble.

Black Bear

Late Summer in Timber Valley

It’s the third week of August. Summer has almost come to an end. It is hot here. It has been hot all summer. Smoke hangs in the air. Fires are burning up my mountain. I drive up to my mailbox where I can always see Mt. Adams. All I see is drifting dark clouds. The mountain is gone. I look for it.

Around the cabin it is very quiet. Hornets have taken over the hummingbird feeders. No hummingbirds come to drink. Deer rest near the shade in the back field. A doe and her two fawns don’t move when I go outside on the deck. Back in my studio I watch them through the window. If the doe leaves the fawns for a short rest, the two of them make a strange sound…somewhere between a bark and a cry. She returns. On occasion the babies nibble on a Hermiston melon that I put out for them near the drinking water. The mother lets them eat. She watches.

The crabapple tree is dripping with fruit. It’s been two years since there have been apples on it. It stopped fruiting after a black bear climbed up the tree and put her arms around it pulling all of the ripe fruit to her mouth. Hugging the branches to her body she fell backwards, mouth full. She pulled down half of the tree. Full and happy she ran from the field.

Two years have passed and the fruit is back. I will watch for her return.

I’m happy. I’m back in my studio painting. I’m working on a series of nature paintings and prints. I am selling my work at Art on Oak in Hood River, the Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan and the Attic Gallery in Portland. If you are interested in my work contact me at fenter@gorge.net.

Black Bear by Jerry Fenter framed, 22″ x 17″. $115.00 (plus shipping)



I’ve been curled up in front of our giant TV (Thanks again, Bill) watching movies and old re-runs of Law and Order Criminal intent.  With Cody by my side and the kitties coming and going, I’ve been sitting, wrapped in a quilt in my big…and I mean BIG…chair near the fireplace for about two months now. No, I’m not painting or drawing or doing any important writing. I’m confused but accepting. (By the way did you know you can watch any episode of any Law and Order and still be surprised by the ending). It’s the truth.


Some of you know it’s been a rough few months for us. Ron’s mom, Patty,  passed on a few weeks ago and my mom is now on the Hospice program at St. Anthony Village. Things seem to be ending all around me. So I guess I’m quietly waiting for what’s next.

I’m sure I fit all of the classic symptoms of “Cabin Fever”. I’ve looked them up and added my own symptoms to the list.

1. Excessive sleeping

2. Moodiness

3. Waiting for the next Netflix to arrive

4. Restlessness

5. Irrationality

6. Reading and ordering tons of novels from “mail order” library.

7. Crankiness

8. Forgetfulness

9. Sudden bursts of laughter or tears and distrust of other individuals


But instead of the the often predicted feeling of a desperate need to escape,  my version of cabin fever has morphed into an “I want to stay in my chair”. Let me warn you that “individuals suffering from the fever can become so frustrated while working or living in a remote situation that they dip to the emotional extreme of appearing crazy or acting in a crazed manner”. From Cabin Fever-Wikipedia. (Remember The Shining)


But I’m not feeling crazy. I think my  brain (right AND left) has been so full of creative ideas combined with sorrow,  problem solving, worry and restlessness that it has taken a break on me. SURPRISE…My brain has overloaded. So I’m being easy on myself. I’m just letting the fever run its course.

I did venture out for St. Patrick’s Day with our friends Sara, Jeff, Patty and John. Ron looked great in his totally green clothing. We had a great time at The Sunshine Winery and The Clocktower Pub in The Dalles. But…as soon as I got home. Back in the big chair swaddled with soft quilts and surrounded by my animals.

I’m not mad at myself. I’m not going to try and hurry my brain back into creativity. I’m just going to wait. Until the end of this maliase I’m going to be totally content  just helping Gorin and Eames solve horrible crimes, MAJOR CRIMES and cheering for Mondo to win big on Project Runway Masters.

 “Nothing can be rushed. It must grow, it should grow of itself…” —Paul Klee 1879-1940

The Problem With Moths (continued)

Some moths are beautiful but NOT our Timber Valley buggers

Living in Timber Valley comes with its problems.  Towards the end of October I noticed a few tiny flying moths in my kitchen (mostly around the night light), hanging out on my lamp shades in the living room, and flying around my head in bed while trying to read.  I brushed them aside and ignored them.  As November rolled around, the moth population started to increase by huge numbers.  At night my cheap Fred Meyer lampshades were covered with them.  My “Freak Show” night light in the hallway was also all but blacked out by the tiny creepy things. The small infestation had become a major irritation and a worrisome problem for me.  I hate the flying bugs when they come in big numbers.  I’m a little obsessive about them swarming near my head.  When one actually flew up my nose as I was reading  Joan Didion’s Blue Nights” I lost it. Then  I accidentally sucked one down with my coffee while reading “The Emperor of All Maladies ” by Sid Mukherjee.  I had a situation on my hands.  No flying dusty insect would break my concentration!

I remember my grandma fighting the same sort of problem.  She called these horrible little flyers “moth millers” and if she found even a single one we’d have to go through all of her cupboards, look through the flour, cornstarch and even check her parakeet’s birdseed to see if the tiny caterpillars from the “miller” eggs had hatched out to eat our food.  So my first defense was to go through my entire kitchen and all of the food for anything resembling a “miller worm”.  No luck.  Sorry, grandma.

Add your own flying moths

One night I actually dreamed that the moths  were flying out of my electric plugs to do their evil business while I was asleep.


When I found them inside my car I called neighbors.  YES neighbors were having the same problem and it wasn’t coming from our cupboards.  We were being attacked.  Everyone had tried some trick to get rid of them.  We started counting how many we could smash during the evening. It was a contest. Ron got out the vacuum…The Dirt Devil with Bagless Power.  We thought it was helping but each night a fresh platoon of moths joined the battle.  Then my favorite neighbors found the answer.  Jeff, a Search and Rescue Hero, and his wife, the brave librarian from Klickitat School, found what may clear our houses of moths…forever.    Here is Sara’s sworn statement:


Living up on Walton’s Mountain (as my brother refers to Timber Valley) is like living in a totally separate climate region from the gorge.  Summers are 10 degrees cooler, which gives us relief from the usual  hot days, but we are also 10 degrees cooler in the winter, which means we often have snow and ice whereas “down below” they don’t. I’m not sure if our crazy topsy-turvy weather of late has anything to do with our “little moth problem” but we have lived here 15 years and have never had to share our home with these little shits.

They dive at our plates of food at dinner time, they swarm the lamps at night, they collect on the window outside the door and all make a run inside when I’m not sneakier than they are. It seems they come in cycles. Jeff (SARS Rookie of the Year for Klickitat County) points out that my obsessive behavior with the vacuum cleaner hose in hand makes it hard to watch TV when I fire it up every ten minutes to capture our enemies. I want to suck those buggers down.

When touched they disintegrate into powder. We’ve torn our house apart looking for hiding places. We find nothing but dust bunnies. I was having whole conversations with anybody that would listen about how to get rid of the little buggers. Finally, when Jeff was as sick of them as I was (or of listening to me complain) He searched the internet. He found NoSquito!!, my foot tall new best friend. We set him on the fireplace mantel. He emits a soft bluish glow so he doubles as a nightlight! The soft sound of the fan inside is somehow soothing and assures me that our catch will not escape. Looks like we found the solution to the moth problem, wonder if it works on crazed deer? Sara

Keeping the air clear in Timber Valley

So now we wait.  Will the NoSquito (by Stingo) solve the problem?  I hope to Hell it does.  If it doesn’t I may start flinging myself toward the bulbs. The war in Iraq may be officially ended but this one continues on the mountain.  Good night John Boy.

Merry Christmas to everyone.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year




The Problem With Moths

the lesson of the moth By Don Marquis, in “archy and mehitabel,” 1927

(Jerry: The narrator is a poet reincarnated in a cockroach’s body. He types by jumping on the keys of a typewriter…no caps. This is a good introduction to my next post that will be written tomorrow morning with full explanation if all goes the way I plan.)

i was talking to a moth

the other evening

he was trying to break into

an electric light bulb

and fry himself on the wires

Moths are swarming at the Fenter household

why do you fellows

pull this stunt i asked him

because it is the conventional

thing for moths or why

if that had been an uncovered

candle instead of an electric

light bulb you would

now be a small unsightly cinder

have you no sense


plenty of it he answered

but at times we get tired

of using it

we get bored with the routine

and crave beauty

and excitement

fire is beautiful

and we know that if we get

too close it will kill us

but what does that matter

it is better to be happy

for a moment

and be burned up with beauty

and excitement

than to live a long time

and be bored all the while

so we wad all our life up

into one little roll

and then we shoot the roll

that is what life is for

it is better to be a part of beauty

for one instant and then cease to

exist than to exist forever

and never be a part of beauty

our attitude toward life

is come easy go easy

we are like human beings used to be before they became

too civilized to enjoy themselves


and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity


but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself


(Jerry: I will continue with a rant on evil  moths tomorrow morning. My thanks to the late Don Marquis and to whoever took this beautiful picture of the swarm.)

Late Summer in the Mountains

It’s morning. There is a fingernail moon in the blue sky above the fir trees. I’ve just come in from an hour of drinking coffee with my cats, Berry and Arlo. It’s become a daily routine of ours that I make coffee, put Cody out back to soak up the sun and take a few minutes to enjoy my kitties. Berry and Arlo are in Snapple boxes (the kind you get from a huge Costco buy). I put nip in both boxes. They love it. Berry is wild and wants up on my lap. Arlo is aged, slow and squinty. He won’t stray far from me because he’s old. I think he’s almost 16 but I wouldn’t swear to it. He was given to me by Maria from The Attic Gallery. He was best pals with Woody my “excellent” cat who died last year. My third cat, Holly, is up in our bedroom closet, still nervous from a traumatic run in with a raccoon about two weeks ago. She’s staying inside. Each day she spends a little bit more time on the front porch but she’s taking NO chances. Raccoons are BAD.


Berry enjoying our morning

 Sitting outside in the late summer is the best therapy ever. I’ve had a busy month. I’d planned to complete all sorts of projects, do lots of writing and painting, and work on our yard. I did a few things. Some will wait until later. I’m ok with that. Instead of finishing my list of shoulds, we drove to Renton to play with our grandchildren. It was so much fun seeing them with my son and daughter-in-law who are the best parents ever. Tavish (who’s eight) also spent a week up here with Ron and me. Nothing special was planned (except a trip to the Goldendale Observatory…a story I mentioned  in my previous post). We hung out. We ate. We had treats. We played with aliens and space invaders. We even secretly watched “Ghost Whisperer” on TV in the afternoon. (A show Tavish called PG 13!) T is an avid reader. He spent time with Harry Potter, stayed up late, and played keep away with Cody, Ron and me in the front yard. We walked a lot. Ron and T set up a tent and then got too busy loading wood into the barn to use it.


Monsters vs. Aliens


 Later in the month I took a trip to Walla Walla. I went with my painter friend Sue Martin who is thinking of moving there in the near future. My daughter went to Whitman so I’d been to the campus before but only for a short period of time. Sue and I tasted lots of wine, found a thriving art scene, painted up at Bennington Lake (she used oils, I used crayons), and had wonderful food. The best meal we had was at my friends’ small farm. My friends, Brian and Cindy, are a couple who have about 10 acres, 3 huskies, some chickens, a kitty and a huge garden. Cindy is a gourmet cook. The dinner was delicious. It was made with food right from the garden. Anthony Bourdain and Alice Waters would be proud. Sue and I brought wine from The Foundry Tasting Room to share. Everything was delicious.


American Gothic Walla Walla Style

 We also spent a day at Night Song Husky Rescue in Dayton where I was again tempted to bring home another husky. I controlled myself. It was great seeing Susan who owns and operates the rescue. Susan is the closest thing to a Saint that I’ll ever meet. Night Song is the rescue that connected us with Cody. Susan cares for over 40 huskies who have been abused, abandoned or who just can’t be placed anywhere else. Check out her rescue on Google.


Almost Our Dog

 My evil deer hasn’t been seen for the past few days…but I know she’s around. About a week ago she came up to the front gate and stared directly into my eyes with her own round saucer-like ones. I made noise to chase her away but she stood firm until I went inside. I’m amazed at the people who have asked me about that deer. She’s almost famous.


Unflattering Rock Sleeping Exercise

 Yesterday Ron, Cody and I spent a whirlwind day at the beach. We dropped off 26 pieces of art at the Ryan Gallery. Cody even got to go in for visit with Emily the owner. The rest of the day was spent on the beach, running with Cody and Ron. It was a perfect day, partly cloudy but warm. I took time out for a nap on the rocks. Ron says I REALLY fell asleep (and this unflattering picture is his evidence). We got home late, tired and a little bit sunburned. 


 Coming events will be listed here on the post soon. I hope to have a class at The Dalles Art Center in October.

Richard and I in San Sebastion

A sad goodbye to my friend Richard Lennie who passed away in Melaque, Mexico last month.  He was a wonderful person, good friend, family man, loved animals and will be very much missed.  I’m thankful for all the fun he and Nancy and I have had over the years at La Paloma and traveling to other great places in Mexico.  Keep traveling, Richard. My thoughts are with you Nancy.

Deer Wars, Star Wars and the Trout Lake Festival of the Arts


Watching for dangerous doe


We thought the deer problem was a thing of the past. A doe with a new fawn have been spotted often for the last week near the front garden. Deer attacks seemed to have stopped. We thought that the recent reign of terror was over. A doe protecting her tiny fawn from harm makes perfect sense. Not totally sure if the doe was the same as the fighting doe we still are cautious and carry sticks down the driveway (one a large cane with a dog’s head carved on the end…a gift). BUT then the game changed. At dusk last night I was on the back porch doing re-cycling. I looked up and two huge saucer eyes were peering at me from the opening of the barn door. It was Deer vs. Human. We stood still eye to eye. After the stare down, I spent about an hour following her around our property to see if a baby was nearby. I could not find a fawn. So…the mystery and the month long reign of the vicious attack deer still hangs over Timber Valley. She could have hidden the fawn. They could be two different deer, one with a baby. The answer is unknown.

After a long wait

The garden is finally showing some color. Spring and summer were so late this year. I always forget how it looks like at the cabin when there is no snow. Only certain things will grow at this elevation and sometimes they are dwarfed in size. But columbine is everywhere, the forget-me-nots are disappearing and being replaced by sweet Williams, sedum, day lilies, poppies and amazing ferns and succulents.

Berry watching over my garden

 I have a new tiny Jerry’s garden that is growing sunflowers, Johnny jump ups and other unknown plants outside my studio window. I just bought a weird succulent that looks like it’s making knots out of itself as it grows. Maybe it’s from another planet.


The green planet Earth

 Speaking of planets, I saw Saturn through the big telescope at the Observatory in Goldendale. What a night. Everything was going fine until Steve, the on-site astronomer was ready to do the last few looks through the big telescope. In the telescope dome it’s pretty dark anyway, but for emphasis he even turned down the red “astronomer’s” lights and it seemed very dark to me indeed. By this time, Ron and Tavish (my grandson) had gone to the car to rest…it was very late. But I would not give up. There was a short line to a ladder that each person had to go up to see into the lens of the big reflector telescope. I felt like a blind person. I could feel the line move but have no night vision. So when it was my turn, I banged into Susan, the astronomer’s assistant, got a little mad because I didn’t know it was her, climbed up the stairs and looked into a lens. Couldn’t see the star cluster anywhere. Then I heard “Mam, you’re looking into the wrong lens.” I squinted and embarrassed turned to the right and with my left hand put my hand on something. “Mam, don’t touch the lens.” I pretended to take a quick look, felt my way down the stairs and tried to find a way out. Remember, no signs or light! I ran into the wall a couple of times, made a huge sound when I finally found a door and walked out into the amphitheater area! Lost! Wrong door! I felt my way all around the building until I saw the car in a distant parking lot. Me…star lover and pretend expert on the stars…blind as a bat. My face was burning when I got into the car. Ron and Tavish laughed all the way home at my story.



 Please come out to the gorge and see me. I’ll be selling my art at the Trout Lake Festival of the Arts at the base of Mt. Adams on July 16th and 17th. This show is one of my favorites. Good art. Good food and music. The setting is magnificent. For information call 509-395-2488 or go to troutlakefestivalofthearts.com.

 I just finished watching “The Jewel in the Crown” from Netflix. Wow. Anyone who loves reading about the history of the English in India will not be able to stop watching it. The story can also be read in The Raj Quartet by Paul Strand. Even though I’ve seen the series before it still is exciting, shocking and really relates to modern political situations. It’s also an unforgettable story.


"The Garden is a Mirror of the Heart" watercolor by Jerry Fenter

 “Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see.” –Paul Klee


 “Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.” –Salvador Dali

Maybe It’s the Moon

Life in the Woods


I love animals. I live in the woods. I see all sorts of animals every single day. I live with squirrels, bats, deer, bear, cougar, bunnies, chipmunks…you get the idea. For the past year and a half I’ve had a deer stalking me. I know, call me crazy, but whenever I go outside in the field, in the woods, even into the barn this deer will jump out at me and startle me at least once or twice a day. The deer is a doe. Does are sweet. I know better than to feed wild animals. I don’t feed her. I don’t try to call her. Pretty much I just ignore her. I’ve still found it strange that she is always alone, never with other deer, no bucks around her and I’ve never seen her with babies. Still she stays here always inside of our fence. If I think she’s gone I only need to look very carefully and she’ll be sleeping in the tall grass or behind a stump.

Friend or Foe?


Black tailed deer are quiet. We see herds of them every day. Sometimes I can count over 25 when I drive up the hill from Highway 14. Usually their heads are down grazing, eating shrubs, trees, and any unfenced plants that may be blooming. I have seen the young ones play tag with their mothers…something I consider a real treat that not everyone gets to see. I have no fear of them…only a healthy respect.

He Wouldn't Hurt a Fly


I also have a dog. He’s a nice boy, Siberian Husky, seldom barks and leaves cats alone. I have seen him catch and eat mice before and unlucky chipmunks that wander into his fenced area. I’ve seen him catch a prairie dog or two while visiting in Colorado but all in all he’s a gentle smiling dog. Because he is a husky, a breed of dog we’ve raised for many years, we know better than to let him run loose. A husky’s natural territory is like a wolf’s…very big. They also aren’t aware of cars, log trucks or traffic. They are meant to work and to walk and run. Cody has a fenced yard and a secure covered run. We walk him on leash. Always. Also, huskies are not normally barkers. Cody is usually really quiet. He talks in a personal howl-like language but he doesn’t snarl or bark.


Now cover your children’s eyes and ears because here comes the scary part. Last week Cody and I are ready for a walk. It’s sunny outside and a beautiful day. I leash Cody up. He’s wearing a choke chain on a long flexible lead and he likes to run out the lead and walk ahead of me. So we’re off. We walk down our long pathway towards the entrance gate of the property. Cody is sniffing everything and checking his pee-mail. I’m checking for new wild flowers and walking behind him. Out of the woods comes my “tame” deer. Not walking but running towards Cody. Cody doesn’t know what to do but as watches her the deer jumps wildly at him, misses him with her front hooves but kicks him hard with her back hooves. He’s down. I pull him to me and check his sides for injuries at the same time swinging a stick at her and throwing a rock in her direction as she slowly moves off. I miss her by a mile but it just seems to anger her more and she swings around and runs back straight at me. Holding Cody with one hand I yell like crazy, stomp the ground and swing the stick. She stops but doesn’t move. What’s going through my mind? Could she be rabid? There’s no foam on her mouth. This is way too much like a Steven King story. I’m sure the blood drained from my face, Cody is nervous and afraid and I decide to run out to the road to try and get away from her. Finally through the gate we walk down a ways, look back, and see her looking out from our driveway and right at us. She had saucer like eyes…glazed over. So we walk. We hope she’s gone when we get back. A neighbor stops to see if I’m all right…I must have looked terrified. An hour later we approach the gate again this time from the other direction. We move quietly but as we round the corner towards our gate there she is again in the middle of the driveway and not moving. It’s a standoff.

Now I’m mad. I swing the stick wildly and she moves over about fifteen feet to my left into the trees. We walk towards the cabin with my eye on her all the time. She seems to sneak from tree to tree like in the old cartoons! She’s stalking us and moves as we do up towards the house. Cody and I can’t get in the door fast enough. Safe at last the first thing I do is google “When Deer Attack”. I find articles about lots of bucks attacking people and dogs but not so many does. I’m including a couple of sites for you to look at.

It’s a few days later and she’s still out there…hiding…stalking…I now take my stick everywhere and hope that whatever’s gotten into her goes away. Maybe she has a fawn hidden somewhere but I haven’t seen it. She seems to have no deer friends and now I know why. If this keeps up I’ll have to call someone, but I just figure give her a few more days and see if this passes. All women and does have mood swings you know. Maybe it’s the moon.

Snow, Angst, Gateway Bowl and Happy Holidays


It’s getting so close to Christmas. We have snow here (in Timber Valley). It snows, then rains, then freezes and then continues to snow some more. Don’t get me wrong. I love snow but mainly when it stays constant and can be played in, plowed, sledded on and generally not squishy. Like the Eskimo people we in this valley have lots of names for snow. Corn snow, tiny snow, fat snow, wet snow, icy snow, Cody snow (right for sledding), snowball snow, heavy snow, twinkling snow and really slushy awful snow are just a few of many.  Right now it’s fall down snow and it’s hard to stay vertical. Cody is trying to talk me into a long walk (literally he talks and tries to form the word “walk” with his doggy mouth) as those of you who know him can visualize. But it’s too slick and wet for me to put on my five pound each Sorel boots, leash him up and go. I feel like writing, drinking coffee and reading my new Vanity Fair. When I sit inside too long with a touch of cabin fever I can sometimes start feeling sorry for myself. I can get into a real funk. I’ve even thought about getting those weird light glasses that the Swedish wear to shine sunny beams into my eyes to fight my Nordic Depression.

 While  deep in a bout of this consuming angst, Ron and I attended a special event Saturday night that made me very happy. I came home with a renewed outlook on my life. I spent the evening with a group of people who have helped make my life important and exciting and totally worthwhile. I finally realized how lucky I am.  I’m one of those fortunate people who have friends that have been there for me for as long as I can remember. Saturday I spent the evening with my neighborhood friends from sixth grade through high school. Wow! We all lit up when we saw each other. The party was given by an exceptional and talented person, the  famous DJ from the 70’s and 80’s, Dave Christensen. The evening’s discussions included Gateway Bowling Championships, Rocky Butte, the Parkrose Bronchos, Wygant School, Red’s Riding Academy,The “Old” Junior High, The Heights Junior High, Jolayne Dunn, the KISN Carol Tree, and just tons of random stories from hanging around the neighborhood in summer and icing the street for hockey in the winter. We were all so happy to see each other and really catch up. All of us have found love and happiness in our own ways. We’re OK.

 I came home feeling good about everything in general and so lucky to have kept so many of my friends for so long. I want all of them to know how important they are to me. I’m lucky enough to have kept friends from every passing stage of my life. Thinking about them makes it impossible to be sad. Merry Christmas to all of you.  You know who you are.

 The November class at The Dalles Art Center was (as we said in the 60’s) a blast! We worked hard on figure drawing and painting but still found the time to have a wild runway show with each student being their own fashion model. A picture is worth a thousand words.

 The next class will be the third weekend in January and I’ll post it on the blog.

 Also, start getting your sign up sheets back to me for MEXICO!If you need questions answered or just want more info just give me a call at 509-365-5119. As soon as I have the final list of students I’ll send out a supply list, help you find airplane reservations and soothe all of those worries you might have.  If you know anyone else who would like to have this exquisite tropical experience please pass on the information. After teaching this class for so many years Ican hardly wait.