Monday, July 28, 2008

The Many Adventures of Becky and RaNita

RaNita is my partner in crime...and my ally in this crazy environment we work in. RaNita was hired three weeks before I was and, as a result, we have learned how to navigate our way through the BrucePac trials and tribulations together. Her problems are my problems. My victories are her victories. We share the same varying levels of loyalty and sense of duty. So, as two employees who have decided not to live and die with BrucePac, we decided early on to try and enjoy what we could throughout the day. Lunch in the park instead of the break room, walks to the post office, the occasional trip to Goodwill and The Red Bench to find priceless treasures are crucial in our attempts to make it through the week, to break up the monotony of office work. Sometimes, we get off early on Fridays, which pleases both of us enormously because then we can plan extravagant outings without having to worry about getting back to work. Fridays are the days for long lunches, trips to the bank, and excursions into the otherwise unexplored territories of Silverton and the surrounding areas. A couple of Fridays ago, we got off at one in the afternoon and decided to treat ourselves to a trip to Silver Falls. RaNita had been dying to go for a while and since the weather was perfect (not too cold, not sweltering), I agreed wholeheartedly that it was time to go hiking. So, off we went with me driving along winding roads, whizzing past field and forest towards the falls. Here are some pictures I took while walking along the trail.

Here we are briskly walking towards the falls along the forested path...

You come to the stream before getting to the waterfall itself and RaNita patiently waited for me while I waded in the cool water taking pictures.

Here is a couple of views of the water from the trail that winds from the right side, behind, then to the left side of the falls. See the Salmon Berries? They were all over the place and added a strategic pick-me-up to a certain fat kid hiker...

Another Friday afternoon adventure: the Strawberry Shortcake Stand in Kiezer. This place is an awesome combination of country grocery store, fruit stand, gift shop, plant nursery, and garden. They also boast the best seasonal shortcake stand I've ever been to. The first time we went in early June, we had the classical strawberries. However, this time we decided to take advantage of berry season and had the Mixed Berry Shortcake. God, it was good. We sat at a shaded picnic bench and enjoyed the breeze and flower garden. We came back to work totally blissed out, only to turn off our computers and go home. Yeah, Fridays are good....

The fruit: blackberries, cherries, black raspberries, marionberries, blueberries, red raspberries, gooseberries, figs, and many more I had never even heard of.

I don't need to tell you how good it was....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lynyrd Skynyrd

You know, when one thinks of a "Knight in Shining Armor", perhaps this isn't the stereotypical picture that comes up. However, after the other night, Mr. Bill Bereskin will always fit that description for me!
Getting stood up/ ditched is never fun, especially the night before the concert you were both supposed to go to. The most demoralizing part, of course, is raiding your little black book, trying to find someone who will drop everything to go with you. I must admit, my little black book is more like a sheet of notebook paper with a couple of scribbled names on depressing....
Anyway, I called my trusty friend Adrienne for some advice. After a few minutes of flipping through her much more extensive mental Rolodex, she mentioned Bill. Our conversation went something like this:
ADRIENNE: "Call Bill, he'll go with you."
ME: "No way, he lives all the way in Philomath! I couldn't ask him to drive all the way up here cause I'm a loser and don't know anybody!"
ADRIENNE: "Becky, c'mon, don't be like that. Bill will totally go with you, that's just the kind of guy he is."
ME (miserable): "Oh god, you're probably right, but I feel like such an asshole for even asking him to come all this way..."
ADRIENNE: "Don't be a dork. Call him."

And so, of course, I called. And, of course, Bill was the hero he always is and totally had pity on me. He drove from Corvallis, to my apartment, picked me up, paid for dinner, then accompanied me to the concert. I won't say that he was a perfect gentleman, cause that's not how Bill rolls, but I will say he was the perfect companion for this little adventure; we had a great time. In fact, I think I had a better time with Bill than I would've had with the person I'd originally asked. So there you go....a big gold star will go next to Bill's name on the sheet of notebook paper. :-)

Portland Saturday Market

Another adventure at the Portland Saturday Market! This time, I was with Jan McMahon and her niece who was in town from North Carolina. After walking through the market, getting something to eat (mmm...lamb gyro and Tillamook Triple Chocolate ice cream...), we decided to get henna tattoos in a moment of whimsy!

Here I am with my hand underneath the lamp, letting the artwork dry.

Jan was next up and decided to get her astrological sign.

Finally, it was Amy's turn in the hot seat.

Here are the finished masterpieces. We had a great time and I hope Amy is planning her next trip up soon!

Poppies will Put Them to Sleep....

One of the benefits of working in Silverton is that once off the freeway, there are many, many cool things to see on the way to the plant. One of Oregon's major exports is grass seed and nursery stock, most of which is raised in this area. So, every day, I get to drive passed fields and fields of flowers, berry patches, green beans, shady orchards, green corn, and shimmering wheat. I risked life and limb on a narrow road to quickly snap these pictures. I was keeping one eye out for a farmer enraged by my trespassing, so I'm afraid my pictures just don't do justice to the bright, shocking color of these poppy fields.

Pink, White, and Red variety mix...

Red Poppies....

California Poppies. Believe it or not, these fields were actually even more spectacular about a week before I took the pictures. Since I have to fit moonlighting as a photographer in between my "real" job, it was the best I could do.

I'm not sure what these are, but they were very pretty. Can anyone enlighten me?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I have one of the most tenacious spiders I've ever encountered living in my driver's side mirror. Now, I've had this happen before, but none of them lasted more than a few days. This spider, which I haven't actually seen yet, has been through an oil change at Jiffy Lube (where they washed the windows and mirrors), a dozen gas fill-ups, two separate trips to the Toyota Dealership (where my truck was hoisted, torn apart, put back together, and washed...twice), and about 100 miles per day driving at approx. 70 mph. Every time the web gets hopelessly damaged and tangled, I think to myself "ok, that's it, for sure I won't see it again". But, morning comes and a new, glistening web is always shimmering in my mirror. Faced with this never-faltering perseverance, I've decided to mimic it. When my world gets blown apart, I'll just have to re-build it, strand by strand!