Monday, January 18, 2010

The First Decade in Pictures

Payton Clark @ 9 months
Josh learning to walk again 2001

Singapore Skyline 2000

Kori & Brad Clark 2005

Bali with Amie, Dean, Shane & Janese 2006

2005 - Kori's wedding

Shane & Janese - Singapore 2006

Carol Benedict 1952-2003

Family Cruise 2000

Climbing Mt. Batur in Bali 2007

12 grandkids -- 2008

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A New Decade

The older we get, the faster time goes by. It's pretty amazing. Our oldest grandkids have their learners permits and are driving! Our newest grandbaby who it seems was born just yesterday, is now 9 months old and crawling all over. Maybe the oddest thing about getting old is that I don't feel old. I look at pictures of myself, or look in the magnifying mirror (thanks Kori!), and wonder who that wrinkled face belongs to :) I still feel like I'm 18. I still want to experience everything that life has to offer.

Ten years ago, we were living in Singapore, and celebrated Y2K at the Boom Boom Room, watching a drag show. Then we went down to Orchard Road with 500K other people and cheered in amazement that the world hadn't ended at midnight after all.

The last decade whizzed by and was jam packed with lots of major life events-- moving back to CA, Josh's accident, moving to Portland, new jobs, new grandkids, new kids-in-law, new grand nieces and nephews, new friends, fabulous vacations with old friends and family, enjoying 2 years without working to explore the world, and the loss of Shaun's sister Carol and best friend Nanny. On March 4, 2004, Shaun and I got married! And a few months later, got our $60 license fee returned and our marriage voided.

Our hope for the next decade is continued health and safety for our friends and family, that our grandchildren who will be old enough to choose life partners pick someone who will fill their life with love and laughter, for peace, for continued adventures and the opportunity to experience the world, and for our right to legally marry. We've been together for almost 12 years now, it's time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We're baaaaaaaaack!

"The Girlfriends" - Tijuana, Mexico 2008

Virgin de Guadalupe, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico December 2009

Shaun dancing with Joan & Bill's (our friends we were housesitting for) neighbors in SMA at the Festival Virgin de Guadalupe

Dancing at the Festival Virgin de Guadalupe in San Miguel de Allende

Payton Clark, grandbaby #13, 5 months Sept. 2009

Mom and her new "boyfriend" Jack at 87 and 89! - Sept. 2009;

Mom and Jack with Payton

November 2008 - posing for Xmas photos

I went back to work in March 2009 for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield where I am doing Strategic Planning for IT. It was just too scary being retired in the midst of financial ruins and I decided I needed a paycheck and benefits again for awhile for my mental well being :) After 30 years of management, I thought I'd try something different and do a staff consulting role. It's a very time consuming job, and many days I feel like the energy expended < the results!

Shaun has been babysitting Payton, grandchild #13, and the only one who lives in the Portland area, 2 mornings a week. We are loving being able to see her often and watch her grow week by week. Shaun is also writing a book about her fascinating life, though it might become a work of fiction so if it does, act like you don't know it was based on her life :)

We haven't traveled much the past few is getting in the way of life. We miss it terribly. We are planning a trip to New Orleans for Thanksgiving week and look forward to that.

My Mom came to visit with her new "boyfriend" Jack in September. She is 87 and he is 89 and both are blessed with good mental and physical health. They are like 2 teenagers in love. It's wonderful.

I spent last weekend with "The Girlfriends" hanging out in a hotel in Portland. We got together in the spring in Hood River, OR and will meet again in Palm Springs (or somewhere else warm and sunny) early in 2010. We have been hangin' since we first met at HP in 1985 in Palo Alto. We have been through births of kids, deaths of parents, marriages, divorce, empty nests, comings out, cancer and just about everything life has to offer. I am so thankful that I have these wonderful ladies in my life.

I recently reconnected with my BFF from high school days. We aren't sure how long it's been since we were last in touch. I thought she still lived in NYC and she's been in LA for 16 years, so it's been a long, long time.....maybe 20-25 years. Anyway, it was great to talk to her today and catch up a little on a lot of years.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We decided this trip to do a "photo essay" on tourists! Here are some of my favorite shots. (Note one of the photos is how tourists should look!) Whether they are posing for group photos, wearing his and hers matching outfits, wearing bathing suits which provide way too much information, taking photos on a cyclo ride , or wearing an entire hat collection on the airplane home, it's fascinating to watch people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More on Viet Nam

Shaun and I traveled to Ho Chi Minh City in 2000. We fell in love with it. We loved the charm of the city and the people and loved seeing the local school children and women in their beautiful ao dai dresses. We have wanted to go back to see more of Viet Nam which we finally did in November 2008. We spent time in Hanoi and Halong Bay. If you travel to Hanoi, be sure to use either CP Taxi or Hanoi Taxi, because many of the taxi companies attach their horns to the meters. Needless to say, there is lots of honking going on!!! The houses are very tall, deep and narrow, because taxes are assessed on the width of the home only. Houses are painted only on the facade (the expensive part) . The local paints wash off in the rain, so the people who can afford it buy "paint in cans". We saw several young couples taking wedding pictures since it was an "auspicious week" in their lunar calendar (which also meant that twice in that part of the lunar calendar month, the locals would be eating dog). Zoe Marie just doesn't know how lucky she is to have been born and raised in the Pacific NW, USA. She could have been somebody's dinner in Viet Nam, or an untended street dog with mange in Bali!

Viet Nam and Maslow's Hierarchy

In November we traveled to Hanoi and Halong Bay, Viet Nam. We were greeted at the Hanoi airport by Hnuang, a charming young woman who would be our guide for the entire week. She took us to points of interest and helped us understand the culture and daily life in Hanoi. Removed from our daily pursuit of self actualization, we were reminded of how much we take for granted in regards to our physical safety, a very basic human need.
  • A recent helmut law was implemented because more there are more than 1000 deaths a month on scooters. To enforce the new helmut law, the police were shooting offenders with rubber bullets while they were riding!
  • There are hundreds of overhead electrical wires. They are heavy and frequently fall on passerbys during high winds and rain.
  • Pedestrians, motorbikes, bicycles and cars coexist on the same roads. We just closed our eyes and walked when we needed to cross the street. The traffic moves slowly and everybody (well, obviously not everybody or there wouldn't be so many deaths!) weaves around slower moving objects! Our guide hit a pedestrian on her way to get us one morning while on her motorbike. She said that the woman was "walking too fast". So apparently, there is a speed limit for pedestrians too, though it's not posted.
  • Clearly we don't need to buy gas guzzling pickups. Motorbikes carry families of 4 or 5 at a time and also big loads of cargo.
  • The air quality is awful. Most motorbikers were face masks.
  • Returning from Halong Bay to Hanoi, there was a torrential rain, one of the worst in 25 years. The bridge into Hanoi was under water, so after observing others and ensuring they made it across a flooded area, our driver took us through 18" of water to get to a new bridge that hadn't yet opened. We drove across that bridge, and at the other side, there was an accident blocking the exit ramp. No problem, we crossed over traffic and exited from the on ramp where other cars were also beginning to cross the closed bridge! We made it back to the hotel and safely back to the Hanoi airport the next morning because we had a very resourceful driver who knew the higher roads.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We're off to Asia!

This morning we are leaving for 3 weeks in Singapore, Viet Nam and Bali. We look forward to seeing some new places (Hanoi and Halong Bay), and visiting old friends in familiar places (Singapore and Bali). We will publish posts along our journey to keep in touch. Our friend Trink, will be joining us next week for the Bali portion of the trip. The picture was taken on a sunrise climb up the Mt. Batur volcano in Bali in 2007.