Let's take a stroll around Palouse together. I moved here in the summer of 2005 and really enjoy this community. I thought that we'd start from my house. Before we leave please take the time to say hello to Stanley.
I found him in a store in the First Edition section of Lake Oswego, south of Portland. It's a great neighborhood and Lake Oswego has one of the best local Saturday markets around.
I brought Stanley home, put him on my porch (yes, I know I need to sand and paint!) and proceeded to fill him with various flowers of the season. Much to my surprise, when fellow Palousians would ask me where I lived and I started giving them directions many would say, "Oh, the house with the pig on the porch!" At present, I find it easier to just say, "My house is the one on ______ with the pig on the porch." It usually works.
Last week when I was mowing my lawn a young couple walked by and I noticed that they were looking at my house and smiling. The woman caught my eye and said, "We're smiling at your pig!" There's something special about Stanley. What can I say?
Let's get Miles. He likes to walk around Palouse with me. Miles is a Golden Retriever. I call him my mini-Golden because he weighs about 59 pounds, which is pretty small for a Golden these days.
Miles is a great dog. He's a good buddy and a great companion for someone who likes to walk and hike as much as I do.
See his pink nose? That's called a snow nose and is considered a breeding fault. When I first brought him home I considered breeding him because he is such a calm, loving, intelligent dog but now I'm glad that I did not make that choice. Although the "snow nose" is not up to the Golden Retriever breeding standards Miles has a much greater reason to be "single." Unfortunately, he has Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a genetic disease that usually results in gradual but total blindness. He was diagnosed with PRA last autumn.
When I first found out I was really sad and depressed about it even though I know it's not painful and that he can have a good life in spite of his condition. It just made me sad. I didn't like the idea of his world shrinking. The silver lining in this ocular cloud is the "P" in PRA. It does come on gradually so that he will have a chance to adjust. Also, sight is not a dog's primary sense; his sense of smell is much more acute.
I found it very interesting that the first thing the veterinarian told me after sharing the diagnosis was that there was no need to put him down. I was a bit shocked that this would be his first comment to me. My surprise obviously showed on my face because he went on to say that many owners immediately talk about euthanization and he wanted to reassure me that it is not a painful disease and that dogs are very adaptable. I remember him saying, "I wish that we humans could adapt to hardship as easily as dogs do."
Here's a link to PRA
So now that we have Miles let's walk a couple of blocks from my house to Holy Trinity Chapel. It first opened its doors on Christmas Day of 1895. The small structure next to the sidewalk is a lych gate and I understand that they are rare in the U.S. in general and particularly west of the Rocky Mountains.
Here's a definiton of a lych gate from the National Parks Service: Traditionally, a roofed gateway to a church graveyard under which a funeral casket was placed before burial; also lich gate; commonly, an ornamental cemetery gateway.
Here's another definition of Lych Gate
There are a lot of great businesses in Palouse and I spend a part of every Saturday I'm in town going from shop to shop, saying hi and checking out what's new at the Open Eye, The Bank Left Gallery, Momma's Blessing and Joanne's Whimseys. Part of my Saturday afternoon in Palouse is always spent at The Green Frog.
This is one small section of the north side of Palouse's main street looking east. There's been a lot of restoration of the downtown area after the June 2006 flood. The brick building on the left with the green trim is the Boomerang Museum. Next to that is the library, Small Towne Quilts (be sure and say hi to the blue-eyed dachsund, Alice when you stop in), and St. Elmo's, a really cool antique and specialty shop. Here's a photo of Jackie and her dog Bill in St. Elmo's. I LOVE her taste!
Say hello to Heidi Kite in her shop the "Open Eye." Heidi and Sam are restoring the old Community Center and are doing a fantastic job. The "Open Eye" is the coolest place. I go down there almost every Saturday I'm in town to see if anything I left there has sold, to check out all the new cool stuff and just to hang with Heidi and Sam. They are great! You can find everything from old picture frames, quilts, vintage clothes, antique furniture and jewelry to some really (and Heidi, you know what I mean!)interesting lamps! Needless to say I have some "Open Eye" purchases in my home.
This is Shelley and her mom Diane at Shelley's store "Momma's Blessings." They have new and used clothes, Robeez, strollers, etc for babies and children. Check out these dolls. When I walked into the store and saw the baby in the bassinet I really thought that a customer had put there baby down while they were shopping.
Here's a view of the Bank Left Gallery building. I love the way they've decorated the front of the cafe and the upstairs windows. Nelson Duran owns the building that also houses a tea and chocolate shop (chocolate? Nelson, how could you?) Nelson is restoring the building to its former glory. He just recently took out the false ceiling exposing the amazing tin ceiling. At the same time the inside covering of the stained glass windows came off and they are gorgeous.
Nelson has a opening the first Saturday of every month that features local and regional artists. He's also an accomplished artist himself.
Let's go inside The Green Frog where, on the first Friday of every month they hold an Open Mike. It's one of my favorite nights of each month.
This is Tiana. She's one of the owners of the frog and leads the Open Mike. She's a singer/songwriter who once toured with Joan Jett. Tiana is cool! So is Paula who started the frog a few years ago so that her friends could have a place to hang out. It's become so succesful that they are moving to another location in town that they are currently remodeling with a new design by Tiana's husband, Sam. It looks really nice. To me it has a real European cafe kind of feel.
One of the things that I really like about Palouse is that, aside from the chance that the mayor, Mike, might actually serve you lunch or dinner at The Green Frog, is that nature is just a block away.....literally (are you paying attention Gillian!).
Here's a wooded path that sits just above the Palouse River one block from town.
Some of the old buildings in Palouse.
Well, I've just scratched the surface of what I like about living in Palouse. I hope that you'll come and check it out for yourself one day soon!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Please congratulate me! I am finally eligible to be a part of David Letterman's "Brush with Greatness" segment.
On March 10th I met actor Kyle MacLachlan at the beautiful Capitol Theatre in downtown Yakima. Kyle was back in his hometown to perform with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. It was a wonderful evening. The YSO and YSO Chorus were in their usual fine form and Kyle was fantastic. He read some of the speeches from Shakespeare's "Henry V" (or as I like to call him "Hank 5") to the Oscar nominated score of William Walton. The combination of beautifully written and spoken words and a thrilling score gave me a few spine tingling moments.
I appreciated Kyle's interpretation. It reminded me of the style of Kenneth Brangah's Shakespearian adaptations. Branagh really turned me onto Shakespeare in a new way. His version of "Henry V" is brilliant. http://www.bardolatry.com/kbhv89.htm. I admit that I've never seen the Laurence Olivier version but will do so one day in a "Contrast and Compare" afternoon. http://www.murphsplace.com/olivier/henry5.html.
Back to Kyle MacLachlan. I just have to add that he was a true gentleman; generous with his time and not in the least pretentious. I almost hesitate to write that as I sometimes think it's odd when a celebrity is praised for having admirable character qualities, as if we expect them to be horrible human beings and are, therefore, pleasantly surprised when they are not! Well, I would expect no less than good manners and pleasantness from a native Pacific Northwesterner!
I also wanted to mention how great it is to work with Conductor Brooke Creswell. Yakima is very blessed to have Brooke. He is so talented and creative and is always trying something new and innovative with the YSO.