Archive for the ‘Eugene’ Category

How we dress for ballet in Eugene

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 24 October 2014, 5:41
girl wearing ballet clothes and rain boots

swan puddle?

Communicating with our Congresscritters (or: A picture is worth a thousand howls)

Posted by jonesey on Thursday, 26 December 2013, 19:32

A couple of weeks ago, Julie and I went to the Cascadia Wildlands Project‘s annual big party and auction. All the hip(pie) nature lovers were there, and we ended up with a huge, beautiful photograph of old-growth trees in Oregon’s Elliott State Forest.

There was another kind of photography happening at the auction as well. A professional photographer was taking photographs to send to our Congresscritters and various other folks in D.C. who are laboring under the benighted impression that removing wolves from the Endangered Species List is a good idea because there are a few dozen of them around and everybody loves them (right?). CWP even had little whiteboards we could hold up with pre-fab messages about how cool and valuable wolves are. You can see some of the photos here (PDF, scroll through a few pages to get the idea).

Those of you who know me know that I like to make my own signs (someday I’ll dig up and scan a photo of me protesting at the Wall Street Journal in the early ’90s with a handmade painted sign depicting a generic conifer with the word GOOD under it) rather than run with the pack. I only had a few seconds, though, so this is the best I could do:

Photo of a wolf and a fox

Truth in advertising


Posted by jonesey on Monday, 6 May 2013, 23:55

The sun doesn’t shine on the north end of the building like this very often. The former Condon Elementary School, in Eugene, Oregon, built in 1924.

A jug of wine, a pizza, and … a book

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 25 July 2012, 17:12

Behold, Sylvan and his friend Olivia, hanging out after devouring the best pizza in Eugene at Hideaway Bakery’s weekly pizza night. Olivia just happened to have brought two books. Usually at this time of the evening, Sylvan is running around whacking things with sticks and mixing up dirt/mud/ice/flower/snake/snail/puppy-dog-tail concoctions in the alley behind the bakery. Olivia proved to be a civilizing influence, at least for fifteen or twenty minutes.

That's Sylvan's music teacher from kindergarten in the background. She plays the accordion, changes flat tires on cars by herself, runs trail ultramarathons, and knows Finnish folk songs. And teaches music to elementary school students.

Yes, we really did go to the Fair

Posted by julie on Thursday, 19 July 2012, 0:34

“Are you having a good Fair?” is a common question when you attend the Oregon Country Fair. This question sounds like such an odd construction to me, but it really captures the spirit of the Fair, which is that it is its own entity, a strange and vague collection of experiences and images.

The Brazilian percussion ensemble Samba Ja played just outside the Fair gates while stilt dancers did their thing – a great introduction to the Fair for my offspring.

I swore off the Fair a few years ago, after trying twice to enjoy it. The first time, I felt like the Fair was a hotter and dustier Saturday Market; and all I remember is sitting in a queue for the bus trying desperately to quell my raging headache. Then, I brought Sylvan when he was just mobile enough to be frustrated being in a backpack all day. That made me frustrated all day.

But, at 3 and 6, my kids are now the perfect ages to check out the Fair, marvel at the costumes while wearing their own, and enjoy the shows aimed at kids.

It was shows like Fae Diddle Diddle that made our first four hours at the Fair close to perfect. These faeries were hilarious and adorable.

By three days before the Fair, both kids had chosen their costumes and laid them out in their bedrooms.

Balloon caterpillar from the faeries. Kids dodging photos with Mom – does that really start this young?

While we listened to Laura Kemp, one of my favorite singers, period, the woman behind me asked to use my camera to take our photo. She said Elena's face was so beautiful as she looked up at me while I painted.

Silly pirates made my kids giggle

Miss E spent 45 minutes glittering the paper that, with help, she made into a windsock. After 20 minutes, I took Mr. S and a friend to get sno-cones. Elena had plenty of glittering left in her, unbeknownst to me. The man who ran the booth told me how much he'd enjoyed her focus.

Just makin' some ice for my sno-cone, Ma!

Dancing her way to the car, the little barefoot princess

There was some poor behavior thrown in there, too; but it didn’t overshadow a super day spent at the Fair. Thank you, Fair!

One reason to live in Eugene

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 13 July 2012, 17:08

Because this starts on July 4th, like clockwork, and doesn’t let up until October 1.

90-day forecast

How to know if you did too many puzzle books as a kid

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 2 March 2012, 6:42

I walk by this apartment house on my way to and from work. I suspect that most people, when they see it, think “Go Ducks” or “hey, only six more months until football season.”

Not me. Because I am, and always have been, a giant nerd. A giant nerd who spent way too much time with puzzle books and secret codes and Frank and Joe Hardy (and their portly chum, Chet Morton, who was a big quipper, if I recall correctly).

Every time I see this display, I can’t help but think “F, of course.”


I fly my nerdy kid flag proudly….

Mixed messages

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 7 February 2012, 6:27

I was about to pull into my driveway when I saw this car in front of me. I followed it around the block to get this photo because I care about you, dear reader.

Sugarplum Fairy

Posted by julie on Thursday, 8 December 2011, 22:47

Mini-recital for her first completed series of dance classes in the morning:

Not a bad first position plie.

This is what Miss E thinks "performing" means.

Followed by the Nutcracker Short and Suite this afternoon, a little present the Oregon Ballet School gives to the community every year. I appreciate it!

The sweetest Sugarplum Fairy, a very poised 16-year-old.

Elena held up her hand after the performance, wanting to make a comment during the question period, but she wasn’t called on. She looked at me and her face crumpled. “I wanted to tell her I dance,” she sobbed. The dancers were all standing around, ready for autographs and greetings. “Go tell the Sugarplum Fairy,” I suggested. Sometimes Moms really do know just what to say.

Spencer Butte and a Skate Party

Posted by julie on Sunday, 6 November 2011, 22:01

We got off to a slow start, but the day picked up, with a hike in the afternoon followed by an evening birthday party at Skateworld!

Our forest fairy.

When we started off on the Spencer Butte trail—a one-mile trail to the top of a mountain south of Eugene with fantastic views of the city—a forest fairy played a panflute somewhere in the woods above us. We never saw our musician (perhaps because, as Chris noted, when forest fairies stand still, they camouflage themselves as trees), but her notes wafting through the yellow leaves added a general magic to our hike. Elena searched for forest fairies in any likely hollowed log or hole in the ground on the way up.

Both kids reached the top with no (very little?) whining. I’ve been avoiding taking both kids up here alone, because I didn’t want to have a whiney melt-down (or deal with the kids having one), but they were both troopers. Skittles helped (four each on the way up, two on the way down).

Smiles and yogurt-covered raisins (or raisin-covered raisins, if you're Elena).

Mr. S looks so tall and thin in this photo. He took the slippery rocks like a pro. He naturally got low to better balance and slide if necessary. Time to take this one rock climbing.

After a quick hike down, which included a troll under a bridge (Sylvan the troll chasing some college girls [wouldn't you have thought I'd have at least another six years before that happened?]), a family of five hiking with seventeen dogs (okay, seven), and a feral chicken, it was on to Skateworld! Okay, Tecnu showers and then Skateworld!

Our addition to the 70s-themed potluck. This and tater tots. Did you know that Easy Cheese is actually mostly cheese? I didn't mean to disappoint you.

Yes, that's a My Little Unicorn with a disco ball atop Rachael's cake. And Jiffy Pop on the table.

Sylvan trying out the skates. Chris confident in his 70s shirt. Sylvan was actually way better on skates than he was last year. He was slow, but he didn't need a hand. He didn't skate long, but he tried it out. Kindergarten's changing this one, and all for the better!

Elena's frustrating game of air hockey. Did you know that air hockey's really hard when you can only reach eight inches onto the table?

Lots of skating fun! Rachael’s skate mix was superb, and included Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious, Summer Lovin’ from Grease, Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (which is somehow inexplicably linked to Carvel ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in my brain), the Gambler, and Take Me Home, Country Roads. Passing on roller skating to another generation! Sylvan’s going again on Friday with the other school-age children who don’t have school on account of my Mom’s birthday (don’t tell her it’s Veteran’s Day; she knows everything shuts down for her birthday).