Posted by: facetothewind | December 7, 2016

Chuan meets the in-laws


It happens in every relationship that is to stand the test of time — introducing your love to your blood. Chuan and I did the post-nuptial tour to Fort Myers, Florida — the heart of Trump’s America. It’s the bible belt, sun belt and Sansabelt all rolled into one waddling package. My family, though, is the outlier liberal family, an oasis of sanity and civility in the new pussy-grabbing paradigm of America.


Each day, Mom and Dad have tea and cookies on their back porch. We discuss all things from their world travels to hemorrhoids to the nightmarish election. Our family has its share of drama, but this time, it was not centered on me. Chuan, as my husband, was welcomed with open arms as their first son-in-law. The contrast of progressive values on their porch to the porches nearby is great. In fact I remember our across the street neighbor, George Kendig, calling black people “porch ponkeys” and “jigaboos.” Something always seemed wrong about him and frankly, this place. Even as a kid I knew it and longed for the day to get out. At 21 I left for New York and never returned.


Fort Myers is a town as adorable as can be with gorgeous early and mid 20th century architecture. But it’s a place where you simply don’t want to know your neighbors. Such is the setting every time I make the familial pilgrimage to see the ‘rents and the bro. On the plane to Fort Myers we overheard some woman with her hair in bangs (and teased back a few generations) say, “Oh we don’t want us another Clinton. She’s a liar!” What do you say to that? Her little shitsu dog escaped out of her bag and sat under my seat.


Anyway, it’s a shame that my family is all so rooted in a place so philosophically embattled. As a result we limit our visits to one or two times a year. Tucson by comparison seems a breath of fresh desert air.

I’m very grateful for all that my parents have done to welcome Chuan and embrace him as their own. And for Chuan, it’s a one-sided experience. He won’t get that — I won’t get that — in turn from Malaysia where it’s not just frowned upon, it’s illegal. I’ve already met the outlaws and they don’t embrace me. So we stay rooted in the place, in spite of the ogre-to-be in the Oval Office, in the place that granted us the right to marry.

For now.

Here’s the trip in video and pictures….




Posted by: facetothewind | November 26, 2016

Our Cascabel Thanksgiving and assorted Arizona autumnal activities

It’s that time of year when we are very grateful to have a home base in Arizona. While winter storms begin pummeling the rest of the country, we’re enjoying crisp, cool nights and abundant sunshine during the days. The evening air smells faintly of mesquite fires and the birds songscape changes adding in the winter migratory birds to the music. All our doors are open during the day and cycling is at its best.

We spent Thanksgiving with Erik and Christopher in Cascabel, a small hamlet about 90 minutes from Tucson. They live in a tiny stone house Erik built by himself on a remote piece of land up miles of dirt roads. They live off the grid with solar power and well water providing just enough for themselves. It’s a great place to visit and they’re lovely guys. See the video and pix below…


Posted by: facetothewind | November 9, 2016

Return of the Troglodytes


Election day 2016, started like any other day. I sipped my cardamom tea from my favorite big blue mug I got at Goodwill for $1.50 while performing my usual morning scan of the internet. I entered the keywords Clinton+Trump+polls, checked the headlines on Huffington and New York Times. I found nothing unlike any other day of late — Hillary leading in the polls by a few to several points. I relaxed into my siddhasana yoga position feeling that all was right in the world: my husband is asleep upstairs, his green card is well under way, there’s enough food on the table and Donald Trump is going to suffer a humiliating loss. I savored the idea of watching the tangerine smarmbucket cobble together all the grace he could to deliver a painful concession speech. All would be right in the world and we could go on with our lives. I could turn on NPR again.

The self-absorbed, narcissistic man baby would have been effectively spanked by the voting public. Women could feel that justice was done and the arrogant predator would be publicly neutered and put out to pasture to tend to his gambling fortunes. Latinos would be vindicated. A statement would be made that the highest office in the land should only ever be occupied by someone with dignity and poise.


Lean forward into the microphone and say it again:

Chuan and I invited a few friends over to celebrate election evening. We baked some parsnips, made an Indian dal and set out a cheese platter. We even bought a bottle of champagne to toast the first woman president. Thom brought by some Bulleit bourbon and we made Old Fashioneds with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and then we sat down to watch what my dad used to call “the idiot box.” Indeed.

We watched as the electoral map began lighting up in slow motion with the election night brass jingle each time a state was called. Red. Red. Red. Red. Wait, when is there going to be a blue state? I sipped my drink thinking to myself, have faith, she’ll prevail…it’s early yet. This is when it started to seem like we were all falling under some evil spell as a hush came over the room. The smiles tightened to poker faces. We began leaning forward in disbelief. The the nail biting began. Thom excused himself for a cigarette. This was going to be a close race and not the early evening we had expected.

Clinton was clearly in danger and the words “path to victory” and “striking distance” began coming out of the mouths of the correspondents on the TV. Only they weren’t being used with the feminine pronoun. Time started slowing down like it does when something really crushing is about to happen. My body began to get hot and I felt lightheaded. Rob asked me to open the door for some fresh air. I stepped outside to look at the moon hoping that I could snap out of this nightmare and that I would step back inside and Hillary would have taken a couple key battleground states. It didn’t happen.


The guests began leaving crestfallen as Trump’s numbers climbed dangerously close to winning. Chuan and I sat in the empty living room amid a pile of dirty dishes in sheer disbelief. How could this happen? How could this happen?

You’ve all read the analysis how this could (and did) happen so I don’t need to add my two cents to it. Apathy, blind party loyalty, obsession with celebrity, disillusionment with political elite, latent racism, sexism. It’s all there in one mouthy package with a combover: Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the US.

His election is just one more sign of a nation in decline, an erosion of human values and the ultimate apotheosis of greed, aided and abetted by a dumbed-down, uneducated populace who can’t quite see that a billionaire is the last person they should elect to try to topple the ruling elite. I spent the whole teary day reeling from the shame that half of this country lacks the vision and smarts to have actually elected the very person who will help them dig their own grave. The idiocy is unfathomable.

What about Trump’s barbaric manners borne out in his campaign make us think that he would be a leader with restraint and diplomacy when called to attend to sobering matters such as nuclear war? The real Trump has been scrutinized and revealed for all to see in unruly debates and rally after angry rally. We’ve all seen the child like temper and vindictiveness, the self-absorbed, thin-skinned egomaniac. Who would not be deeply disturbed by the notion of this man being within arm’s reach of the “nuclear football?” Shouldn’t common sense trump party tribalism for that issue alone? It should. But it didn’t. And maybe people think it’s a joke or a far-fetched reality that he could in fact bring on the apocalypse. Well I’m not laughing because he could. And even if he doesn’t use the nuclear arsenal, he certainly intends as a first order to leave tens of millions of people marooned without health care. Is that making America great again?

Now that Chuan and I are married, he could be fast tracked for US citizenship. But he said to me today, “Hubby, I don’t think I really want to apply for citizenship in this country.” There you have it. America’s beacon has gone dim — that someone from a corrupt and broken country like Malaysia would pass up the “opportunity” to become a citizen here. I don’t blame him. Malaysia’s deplorable dictator seems harmless by comparison to Donald Trump with a congress and senate to back him up.

The election of a troglodyte to the presidency of the most powerful nation on earth is a woeful blunder and a low point for the US. The next president of the United States has sent a message to the people that it’s perfectly fine to harass and objectify women and handicapped people, to make racist statements, to lie indiscriminately (well, that’s nothing new to the office), to resort to violence and bullying instead of reason. Oh and let’s not forget that making a general ass of oneself at all times is acceptable behavior and if people don’t like it, hell, you can sue them. I can’t wait to see what sort of mess he will make of international relations.

I hang my head in shame as an American today. I repatriated from Malaysia for this?

Tonight we sat down and began looking at house rentals in Oaxaca, Mexico. Perhaps it’s time to leave again. There’s nothing worse than having a superpower collapse on top of you like a circus tent with the poles kicked out by an elephant.

Well, maybe there is one thing worse: seeing what the Trumps will do with the White House…


Fasten your seat belts folks, we’re in for a bumpy ride. And remember, he isn’t just deplorable, he’s impeachable.

Posted by: facetothewind | November 4, 2016

Doddering on the Edge


There comes a point in most people’s lives when if they are paying attention, they can put their finger on that very moment when they had in fact crossed over into old age. I had that moment on the way to visit the Grand Canyon last week. As I was loading up the car to drive with Chuan and Trish for their first visit to one of the world’s greatest wonders, I salivated about the photographic possibilities with my new micro four-thirds camera. And then when we were about a half hour down the road I realized I left my camera bag sitting on the floor by the door of the house. How could I make such a dumb mistake? I’ll tell you how: it’s called “old people can’t multitask.” Loading the car, dealing with a different breakfast routine, a new apartment, some new car keys and a vacation rental, road maps, phone chargers, and 2 lovely travel companions with questions – something important dropped out of my brain.

So there I am (above) on the edge of the cliff of the most photogenic natural site on the planet equipped with only my iPhone that is almost as old as the canyon itself. Please now enjoy some mediocre photography brought to you by my iPhone5 whose battery was expanding and about to explode. The image quality improves for the Arcosanti and Sedona portion of the trip as I was reunited with my new camera.

Here’s the video of the trip. You can witness the thunderous underwhelment when Chuan and Trish walked up to the Canyon for their first glimpse into the abyss…

We went on from the Big Ditch to gorgeous Sedona and stopped in at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It’s a bit overrun by tourists but a really great piece of architecture and wonderfully calming inside (see video). Sedona is a beautiful town full of UFO chasers and new agers. Isn’t the term new age old already? Anyway, it’s like Marin in Arizona and it’s all in my favorite color…ORANGE! I realized that if you live in Sedona, surrounded by so much orange, you’d have to dress in complimentary colors. Even the McDonald’s in Sedona was required to do their signature golden arches in turquoise. Still, one can never get enough orange so I was thrilled.


From Sedona we went on to Arcosanti – one of the strangest places in Arizona. It’s a defunct Utopian city designed by Paolo Soleri. Once it promised to be a prototypical city of the future, now it is a crumbling mess of concrete that harkens to a time of greater idealism and one man’s quest to make his mark. It’s a bit like a cross between Ancient Babylon and Planet of the Apes.

Arcosanti David Gilmore.jpg

Here’s the montage of imagery…

It was a great little trip. Thank you to Trish for driving and Ning for your day pass.

Next stop: Florida to meet the family

Posted by: facetothewind | October 20, 2016

Fall Finally


Autumn arrived gently at the end of a very long, hot summer in Arizona. Fortunately we weren’t here to experience more than a couple months of it. And now the prize: warm, sunny days, cool nights with a light blanket. And the buzz of the fall season in Tucson as we slide into the holidays. Everything is pumpkin. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin breakfast cereal, pumpkin hand sanitizer, pumpkin deodorant. Well, OK, maybe not.


The days are still warm enough for swimming and the nights cool enough for a fire and a cuddle. Summer was more like, “Love you darling, but don’t touch me — it’s too darn hot.”


This is the time of year when I’m deliriously happy to be in Arizona and relieved NOT to be where most of my dear friends have hunkered down for the winter.

Jeff and Angela invited us on a glamping trip to the national forest near Willcox. We had a great time chopping wood, digging holes, cooking over the open fire and inhaling mosquitoes. We made flame broiled steaks and corn, Malaysian curry, roasted marshmallows with dark chocolate mouth-mix while enjoying the music of crickets and coyotes and great horned owls. It was all so very wild west dude ranchy. Alas, Arizona had a very wet summer and the mosquitoes are out in force this year. The winter freeze will reset them back to zero but it seems that climate change is turning southern Arizona into the subtropics…which is not a bad thing, honestly. I hate to admit this but I’ve taken to fogging the courtyards because it has gotten so bad with the skeeters. I give up on environmentalism when winged vampires are sucking my blood.

Here’s a little video encapsulation of early autumn in Tucson…

Here’s a little photo collage of the past 6 weeks of mountains and married life…

Next stop Grand Canyon.

Posted by: facetothewind | September 21, 2016

Return to Tucson


Returning to Tucson, Arizona, in mid-August after 3 months of traveling in Northern California and Oregon can be a challenge. August is month 4 of 5 months of summer and it’s in the middle of the monsoon season.


This means lots of dramatic storms, intense heat and humidity, and pool time!


I usually get up early and swim before the day’s extreme heat. The mornings are soft, not quite cool and unfortunately now, full of mosquitoes. Tucson has become more tropical over the years of climate change and with that comes the little winged vampires.

This post-marriage return to Tucson was a “homecoming” of sorts. And we returned to a home that was badly in need of a deep cleaning after a filthy housemate ground a deep layer of grime into the furniture, carpet, and walls. After he moved out we cleaned every surface thoroughly and called in the steam cleaners.


Chuan and I sanded and varnished cabinets and table tops, re-organized closets, re-arranged furniture, artwork, threw out tons of junk and reclaimed the house from the maw of grunge. Thanks to Jeff for the use of his orbital sander!


We washed everything to get the smell of the last renter (not Trish!) out, ordered some new sheets and desk chair from IKEA and voila…the bridal suite was ours…


And thus began the immigration process. We were at first promised full pro-bono representation by the non-profit Immigration Equality in New York. But after weeks of phone calls and emails went unreturned, we found out that the attorney who made those promises left the firm and we were left stranded with valuable time wasted. So we immediately contacted a local attorney, Claudia Arevalo, who was extremely helpful.


But she comes with a hefty price tag of fees to assist us in getting Chuan his permanent residency. Fortunately I’ve saved some money for this and with the help of some generous family members and friends, we are able to afford her expertise. A big kiss to all who helped…


So, today we submitted all the paperwork, certified checks, birth certificates, wedding license, tax returns, bank statements, and medical exams to our attorney, and off we go. The price tag for this process is about $5,000. Ugh.


Meanwhile, Chuan auditioned to sing in the Tucson Symphony Chorus. Lois and I both rehearsed and coached him on his art song and the excerpts of the Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem that are required to get into the chorus. He met with Dr. Chamberlain at his office and sang for him Schubert’s Litanei. He let loose with his beautiful baritone voice and was accepted on the spot.


And now on Monday nights we sing together, a chair apart, rehearsing for the January, 2017 performance of Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem. The performance, sung in German, will be to nealry 6,000 people over 2 performances. During rehearsals, I look over at Chuan who is earnestly trying to keep up with the conductor’s rapid pace of complex instructions. There’s a nervous and excited look on his face…like he’s running to jump on a train that has already left the station. To sing with the symphony is a great privilege and only bestowed upon accomplished musicians. For him to get in with no previous singing experience was a great feat and some statement of Chuan’s extraordinary musical ability and ear, not to mention his lovely voice.


I’m so thrilled to share this great musical experience with him. Sometimes I can’t believe that a few months ago we were stuck in traffic in Kuala Lumpur on the way to a mall desperate to find something culturally interesting and now here we are swimming, cycling, and singing with a fantastic orchestra.

Jeff and Angela hosted a wonderful party at their house to celebrate our nuptials. Here you can see my 50+ fat belly and the free-flowing champagne and carrot cake big enough to feed an army that are helping me to maintain my figure…


Thank you to Angela & Jeff for your generosity! Following is the video of the party where you can see us singing a barbershop piece WAY too slow. And you can see Rudy the Puerto Rican poodle in his last few days. Nearly blind and deaf and pretty close to death, this was his last party and we kind of knew it. So I unabashedly fed him some scraps from the table knowing that any lifelong bad habits weren’t going to be for long.

Here are some more miscellaneous pictures of the party and our return to Tucson…

And now we wait for immigration and the first breath of cool…


Posted by: facetothewind | September 7, 2016

Last Week in SF


It was the week before the wedding. A couple friends arrived to join us.

Here’s the week in pictures…


Here’s the video of the week:

Posted by: facetothewind | August 17, 2016

In Sickness and in Health


August 8, 2016: the emergency room doctor at Marin General placed in my feverish little hands a sheet of paper that said: No sex. No alcohol. Side effects of depression, anxiety, irritability, and suicidal thoughts. These are not exactly the words you want to hear the day before you are to be married.

It was the morning before my wedding to Chuan and I woke with a high fever. I lay in bed thinking, please god, don’t let me be sick…this is the worst possible time to be sick. This can’t be happening but it was. I wasn’t afraid to get married. This couldn’t be pre-wedding jitters, no, something is really wrong. Fever chills began working up my body in waves like a death rattle. My teeth chattered, my chest tightened and I pulled up the covers to stay warm in Jean’s guest room. Chuan was downstairs with Jean planning our day of cooking for the wedding reception. I couldn’t calm the shakes which had now become violent when the nausea kicked in. I stumbled downstairs into the kitchen crying and heaved right into the sink. Chuan and Jean were shocked and tried to comfort me. I felt Chuan’s arms wrap around me as I was heaving something yellow down the drain. I had never felt this sick in my life.

Between the dry heaves and shaking, Chuan stuck a thermometer in my mouth and it came out at 103. I didn’t really have any other symptoms of a flu or infection. I feared it was appendicitis as I had some minor, intermittent cramps in my lower abdomen. Jean said it was time to take me to the hospital. We called Blue Cross Blue Shield and spoke to a nurse who concurred we needed to get to the hospital right away. We fumbled through customer support to see if a visit to the emergency room would be covered — as one does only in America. It was and so we rushed out the door and then got stuck in bumper-to-bumper, morning rush hour traffic.

After the usual questions at triage, the nurses guessed it was appendicitis and so I was admitted to an ER room and thus began the questions, the poking, prodding, sampling and waiting. There was discussion about a CT scan to determine if it was indeed appendicitis but the doctor ruled it out after probing my painless belly. Then they tested my urine and voila! Infection was present. So they quickly put me on levofloxacin and suggested that this was a probably an acute prostate-related urinary tract infection…not an STI. Apparently women are more susceptible to this than men, but in men with prostate issues, it is indeed a problem. Four and a half hours after arriving, I was released on meds, whimpering about the hair they ripped off my arm with my IV.

So with a little side trip to the emergency room down a path of chastity, sobriety, and suicidal ideation, it was off to the altar to see about getting married after all.


Chuan and Jean nursed me back to health and we made it to San Francisco City Hall by 10am on the 9th of August, residual fever and all. And married we are. It happened. It had to happen. I was not going to take no for an answer. Nor was Chuan.

If you’ve never been to City Hall in San Francisco, it is a spectacular example of 1915 Beaux-Arts architecture. As you push the gilded doors open, you enter what appears to be an inside-out wedding cake. It’s the perfect setting for a marriage complete with Chinese tourists and selfie sticks. (They took special delight in seeing a same sex, Caucasian-Asian, age-divergent marriage taking place atop the stairs beneath the skylit rotunda.)


We made our way to the back corner of the hall where we registered with the city and then met with the woman who would be our officiant to perform the ceremony. She seemed incompetent and bumbling with a very thick accent which I think was a Filipino accent.


While they processed our paperwork, the guests were still arriving and looking radiant. Simon, Jean, Scott, Tom, Lawrence, Kristel and January all came to bear witness to the occasion and then we waited for the Justice of the Peace at the top of the stairs under the rotunda. She arrived and behold…there she was…all 3 1/2 feet of be-gowned and be-wigged justicia…Mrs. Yoda, our guide through the gates of holy matrimony! She started looking around and calling, “David…David?” I got all panicky and my fever surged before I realized that the couple to be wed before us also had a David in their party.


Lawrence sang us a beautiful song which wonderfully calmed our nerves, quieted my fever, and drew the attention of tourists. Finally our time came and it was time to step up to the top of the stairs and get married in full view of the bronze bust of Harvey Milk who was assassinated 38 years before, just steps away from that very spot.


Chuan and I stood facing each other in front of the Justice and she began her ceremony. At least I saw her mouth moving and her admiring eyes reading as she looked each of us in the eye, but I couldn’t hear anything. Mrs. Yoda was in fact Justice Whisperer. She was extremely soft-spoken and with the ambient sound of the rotunda’s live acoustics I simply had to go on memory of what she was going to say from having seen this on YouTube previously. We each leaned in closer and closer and the nearer we drew, the fainter her voice became.


No matter, we got the point and we exchanged the rings and said our vows. The hardest part was not to just burst out in tears about the whole thing. The text she was reading (what we could hear of it) was very beautifully written and said nothing about god, but everything about the power of love and the honor of marriage. When she got to the part about loving each other in sickness and in health I felt the relevancy of those words. The whole ceremony was very emotional for me especially having just felt so close to death the day before.


And so on the 2nd year anniversary of having met Chuan in Kuala Lumpur, we said, “I do,” and we did it. What an adventure it has been halfway around the world, over land and sea, continents and cultures, to land us here in the heart of gay America.

After the ceremony we placed flower leis that my cousin Dale from Connecticut sent. Chuan read some talking point from his iPhone, half laughing and half crying, and I stumbled in a still fevered way through some proclamations of love for Chuan. It would have been different had we not spent the day before in the hospital but, alright, sometimes life intervenes. Chuan seemed genuinely touched and moved by the whole experience in spite of all the stress and drama we had been through in the past 36 hours.


After the ceremony, we give a big kiss of gratitude to Harvey Milk whose face was glowing with the attention. San Francisco’s City Hall has a rich history of the struggle for gay rights in America and in a way is the birthplace of same sex marriage. So it seemed like a fitting place to tie the knot. It was also a very public place to get married with tourists circling around snapping pictures. I imagine that Wechat was buzzing that morning with pictures being sent back to mainland China of the 2 dudes getting married, kissing, and crying. They heard about this and now they got to see it in person.

You can watch the wedding and the reception on this video, but of course, you won’t be able to hear much from Justice Whisperer. Put in some earphones and maybe you can hear her sweet voice and words…


The reception afterward was held at Kristel & Lawrence’s house…my friends who just got engaged the week before. So they still had all the Congrats balloons and rented champagne flutes at the house — so it all worked out perfectly. Huge thanks to them for hosting the party; to Tom for the flower bouquets and for shooting video; to Jean for bearing the rings and for the fabulous vanilla and blackberry layer cake and getting us to the “church on time” (and me to the ER on time); to cousin Dale for the orchid leis; to Scott for coming the farthest and for being my oldest friend; to lovely January for the benediction that was delivered more in spirit than in words (my bad); to adorable Lawrence for learning “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine” and singing it at City Hall!; to Simon for picking up the cake and for all the pre-wedding week dramas that put me in the hospital (just kidding); and to my parents for loving me and supporting me since I came out to them 34 years ago. Thanks to all those who wanted to be with us but couldn’t. Thank you to Angela and Jeff in Tucson for an amazing Tucson reception (pictures coming soon)! And thank you to all those who sent gifts and greetings from around the world and donations to help with Chuan’s legal fees for immigration…all so very much appreciated and needed as we set forth down that path.

Finally, the biggest thanks goes to my new husband, Chuan, who has loved me from day three, who held my vomit bucket and my hand in the hospital thinking the marriage was off. He came all this way around the world to be with me in the strange new world, to step up to the rotunda and commit to a lifetime of being together. In Chuan’s words the next morning, “Hubby, we got married. Shit!” I think he meant, “holy cow.”

I feel a book coming on.


Next stop: Immigration.

Posted by: facetothewind | July 26, 2016

“Portland: where young people go to retire.”

That’s a line from Portlandia…a show that pokes a lot of fun at Portland and its wacky inhabitants. But who needs comedy writers when you have the real Portland for material? It’s a colorful, stylish (without being fashionable) place where convention and reality come face to painted face with fantasy in a cloud of blue-gray pot smoke.


Portland is a playful, delightful place where you can meet the blue man on the street or some beardy guy named Bug in the middle of a river wearing a bug hat…


It’s a place where you can get industrial safety gear and a ukulele under the same roof…


“The dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland,” goes a song in Portlandia…


Where else can you meet a friendly Furry with a foxtail in a bar? You might want to look up what Furries are all about.


Visit the creepiest bathroom on earth at Cafe Rimsky Korsakoffee house…


Portland is the place you can get a big hug from guilt-ridden Christians…


And if you’re not feeling the full weirdness, just pop into any legal marijuana store and get your freak-on to go (no smoking on premises!). Just look for the ubiquitous green cross at a neighborhood pot store near you.


Freak or no freaks, Portland in my humble opinion, is the most beautiful city in America. And the property values reflect it. I only wish to imagine living there in the winter, without actually experiencing 8 months of gray and drizzle. For now, it is a wonderful place to walk down the gorgeous tree-lined streets so pretty you want to weep.


Here’s the video encapsulation of the 3 weeks in Portland…


And here’s a photo montage of three lovely weeks in Portland. Thank you to Carole, Larry, Pretzel, Bluejoy and friends for the accommodations. And thanks to our lovely friends Greg, Robin, Franklin, Andrew, Trav B, Jeff, Steve, Larry, for all the fun times and good meals. We will miss you all and the food carts and swimming in the Gorge and the lack of sales tax. We’ll be back next summer for sure!!

Next stop: the altar. City Hall, San Francisco. August 9, 2016 at 10:30 am. OMG, it’s really happening.


Posted by: facetothewind | July 13, 2016

Pacific Northwest Summer


Pacific Northwest summer means rivers, forests, and berries, berries, BERRIES! Blackberries abound along roadsides, ditches, and riverbanks. Blueberries jump off the bush at berry farms, and thimbleberries offer their delicate, red caps of flavor if you’re willing to go deep into the rainforest to find them. And we did.


Steve and Travis took us on a hike along the Clackamas River where we discovered the thimbleberries and some beautiful wildflowers in the shady undergrowth of the fir and cedar trees.


And Larry took us to Sauvie Island, just north of Portland, to pick black and blue berries. And our tongues were black and blue to prove it. One for the bucket. One for the mouth. We are so full of antioxidants, we’re going back in time.


Sauvie Island is one of my favorite places in the Portland area. It’s a gorgeous mix of wildlife refuge and farmland. It’s the place that would have inspired Van Gogh and Monet to set up their easels and behold a hundred different shades of green…

Sauvie Island

Here’s a photo collage of the 2 days of berry adventures…


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