Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Day In Astoria

Two years ago - after my first Design Outside The Lines retreat - I dropped my friend Caroline at the airport in Portland and picked up Howard. We drove down the I5, across to the ocean, and then back up the Oregon coast together. Now, I am visiting places alone that I first saw with him. This is unusual, a bit strange but strange in a good way.

Both of us loved Astoria. The hotel we stayed in was to the left of the picture above. The city is on a hill with the downtown along the river and the houses up from there. It's arranged numerically in one direction and alphabetically in the other which makes it easy to get around.

I spent my day in Astoira visiting all the shops except for one on the list that my hostess had given me. When I checked the list, that one was down seven blocks and over three and I decided it wasn't necessary. My walking tour was exhaustive and interesting and I bought a few things - including an end table for my living room - and then, when I was all shopped out, I bought one of those personal sized Hagan Daaz ice-cream cartons and enjoyed it while sitting on the stone wall along the walkway near the river. The last time I was here...


... the moss covered posts from the old canning sheds were empty. This time, they were covered with flocks of sea gulls who seemed to be having a competition with...

... the sea lions for who could make the most noise. The sea lions were all over the docks making it dangerous and impossible for boats to park there right now although I was able to walk along the warf and get some pictures. Apparently, they - the lions - know to stay down there - or so I hope. None came charging after me. Howard and I were here in June. It seems seagulls and sea lions like to be here in September. Good thing. Our hotel room was on the water side and would have been very noisy.

I had lunch at the Urban Cafe - a caramelized peach salad with onions, feta cheese, bacon, and chicken. YUMMY. This trip, I've enjoyed so much interesting food that I'm going to look for some on-line cooking classes when I get home. Both Howard and I were raised on meat plus starch plus vegetable and it seems to me time to break out of that predominate mold. I do know how to cook other things but I think that with a bit more information I could create far more tasty interesting dishes with the ingredients I have. I hope so. My tastebuds have been spoiled.

This morning, I slept until I woke up and as soon as I finish publishing this posting, I'll take a shower, pack up the car, and be on my way home. I plan to stop and journal at the bookstore in Bellingham and take a quick peek at the bargain center of the Fabricland in Chilliwack but other than that, it'll basically be straight home.

I'm not sure what I'll arrive to since Howard is having an MRI today. While we don't wish for something horrible, we do wish for something that "they" want to explore further in order to move this journey forward for both of us. It's exhausting and seemingly never ending. Good thing that I'm going home with some ideas from all I've seen and done and talked about that I can work on in the studio. I want to keep the energy of this trip alive as long as possible - partly through daily exercises. I share more about those later this week.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - great food

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. 
- Oprah Winfrey


  1. Myrna, i feel refreshed simply reading about your trip! What a marvelous balance of alone time and visits with friends and creative souls. Yay!

    Your nervous comments on the sea lions gave me a chuckle. My husband Tony is headed to Hawaii in a few weeks, he is a huge animal lover as well. So when i saw this little .gif yesterday i had to show it to him:

    and i think you may get a kick out of it too! Tony said the years ago he went kayaking in Monterey Bay here in California and the sea lions were very friendly and curious swimming next to the kayaks. But it is prudent to give them their space on land, especially when you have a few guys trying to keep track of their know how THAT goes ;) heehee!

    i hope you get some good info from the MRiI. I'm keeping you both in my thoughts. Drive careful and have fun! steph

    1. It was a good balance. I'd have liked another day in Astoria but it was time to come home.

      LOL - that's a bit too close to me. I'll leave boarding with the sea lions to Tony.

      The MRI showed extensive nerve damage in his back due to other conditions. Now they're exploring what that means.

  2. Your walking-looking-shopping tour of Astoria sounds delightful! And the salad looks fabulous. I recently had caramelized peaches for the first time and like you decided I had to learn to make them! A bit north of Astoria in Ilwaco we ran into that same noise contest, sea lions v. sea gulls. Maybe it's like the Tour de France, a second stage in the Tour de Squawks! Best to you today Myrna!

    1. The tour was delightful and the salad was FABULOUS. Did you learn how to make carmelized peaches? If so, send me the recipe please. LOL - tour de squak. Yes, like that.

  3. fabricland in chilliwack....... my go to store... talk about de ja vous...
    are you in bc?? i'm in chilliwack
    (no need to publish this comment)

    1. LOL - it publishes automatically unless the posting is more than two weeks old. If you want to email me privately, my address is in the side bar. I'm in Kamloops.

  4. So sorry to hear of Howard's nerve damage. I have moderate nerve damage in my in my neck, right shoulder, arm & hand. It's no fun, and not easily treated. Yet one way to deal with one's health is diet and I've found that to be true. To eat more healthy, and to lose weight as a side benefit, consider what's worked for me: a vegan diet. It's easier to live on and enjoy than you'd think. I've lost weight and feel better just being lighter weight. So have many others. There is a book that gives reasons eating vegan makes sense. It has some recipes too, and is called "Forks over Knives." They made a movie version that's shorter but still good to watch with a mate who may need facts on why giving up meat will improve one's health.

    Hurray to a great trip and inspiring trip!

    1. Thanks Carrie. I totally agree with you that diet can make a tremendous difference. It certainly has for me in many ways although the weight did come back - LOL - although to be fair I haven't been very faithful over the last couple years. I'll check into the book you suggested for myself. One thing I've learned after years of care giving is that you have to be very careful to draw boundaries or you will spend your life focused on theirs and that's not healthy so I present ideas but I don't manage them.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.