Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Orchid Class

For Christmas this year, I received a beautiful Phalaenopsis Orchid (Mom's the best). Unfortunately, for as much as I love them, I don't really know much about them. I had bought one before and kept it in the bathroom in California and it did really well. After that initial success, I thought maybe I could have one in my new bathroom without too much trouble. What I didn't think about it that the constant 70 degree nights, combined with the warm mistings of three different people's showers probably did more for the plant's success than my green thumb. So, unthinkingly, I stuck this new, unsuspecting orchid in my chilly Portland bathroom and all the blooms promptly fell off. I had obviously shocked the crap out of it, and I felt horribly guilty at distressing something so delicate. I'd been racked with guilt for about two weeks, but didn't know what to do about it. So, in an attempt to make myself feel better, I got six small pots and seeds for the easy stuff, stuff I know I can grow. You know, like Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Basil, Parsley, and Oregano. I knew I could get those to grow successfully, however, I didn't have a watering can. So. I decided to go on a splurge trip to Smith & Hawkins to get some watering equipment. Imagine my surprise when I walked in and saw that they were holding a free, hands-on seminar about orchid care this morning! They were having a huge sale on all different kinds of beautifully exotic orchids and they were all over the store. Here are some pictures I took in the shop.

This one reminded me of Mom because it was purple and kind of looks like the African Violets she loves.

Oh, heaven....

Here is the one I finally decided to get. Hey, we had a 20% off coupon for taking the class and I made the best of it! I also took copious notes on how to get my other poor orchid up on it's feet and re-flowering.

I got a tough, Oregonian Fern to go in the bathroom instead, it's better suited to resist cold tiles....

After my very educational orchid class, I met up with Emma for lunch at Ken's Bakery on 21st and Flanders. They're croissants are seriously addicting. I laughed at the fevered look on Emma's face while describing their chocolate and blackberry ones, but now that I've taken a few home and had one, I understand completely....
After lunch, we took a quick day trip to Merylehurst College to check out a gallery opening I'd heard about. It was modern art, cool, but not our personal style. Still, it was fun to do something unusual and we had a good time.
Yep, it was of those great Portland days....a little damp, but definitely diverting!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Walking with Dinosaurs!!

Well, as soon as I got back into Portland in December, I saw the signs for this show hanging on the Rose Garden and really wanted to go. After TNNA, since we did so well, I convinced Mom that we deserved to go as a treat. We all loved the TV series on the BBC under the same name, as well as their Walking with Mammals and Walking with Cavemen. So, at four o'clock, Mom and I hopped on the Street Car from my apartment, then onto the Max to the Rose Garden. It was an awesome show and I'm so glad we went. Here are some pictures that I took during all the action!

Here is the Stegosaurus fending off an Allosaurus, flushing his rows of armored plates with blood as a warning!

As a result of the failed Stegosaurus hunt, the Allosaurus switched his attention to a baby Brachiosaurus that had been separated from the herd. Oh no, baby, run!!

Whew, Mom saves the day! Allosaurus is humbled beneath the towering full-grown hulk of a defensive female Brachiosaurus.

Fast forward many millions of years, and then we were soaring high in the sky with Orinthocheirus as he looked for a perch before a storm hit the coast.

Here is the pack of Utaraptors feeding voraciously upon a recent kill (they even had guts to fling around, it was awesome).

Fast forward again, and all of a sudden, something new and magical appears for the first time on earth. Flowers!

Two bulky male Torosauruses posturing over the same territory. Ole!

As the victor Torosaurus went off to feed on flowers, out lumbered a heavily armored Ankylosaurus.

And what do slow-moving herbavores attract? Carnivores! Well, a curious baby T-Rex is still technically a carnivore...

Ah oh, looks like curiosity killed the cat...enraged by the smell of a predator, both the Torosaurus and the Ankylosaurus turn on the baby and corner it! What will it do now???

Of course, as Jurassic Park 2 taught us, if you find a baby T-Rex, the Mom isn't too far behind and this was no exception! After hearing her baby belt out a panic call, she emerged enraged and made a beeline straight for the Ankylosaurus.

Ahh, Mom and baby reunited....

and off they went into the sunset, the finale for Walking with Dinosaurs!


Well, since Mom posted so many pictures of TNNA, I only took a few. It was a long, busy weekend, but Tanglewood Fiber Creations met many nice people and did lots of good business!

Here is Mom talking to the ladies in the adjacent booth through the "wall".

Here is Mr. Casey Regan, Farmer John Marketing wearing a Tanglewood Fiber Creations name tag! How funny is that? He is such a Californian, he actually posed when he saw I was going to take his picture. It was really nice to see him and we had a great time at lunch. Miss you Case-o!