28 December 2008

Astoria in December

Fresh crab

I had the opportunity at the beginning of December to spend some time in Astoria because of work. And if you're along the Oregon coast during that time (or any other month ending in "e-r") you'll find fresh crab!

Liberty Theatre

I always like to walk downtown and do some window shopping. There are galleries with local art, a Scandinavian import shop, a Danish bakery, a fun toy store, as well as a handful of coffee shops and restaurants.

Festive Astoria Column

I can't believe I've never seen the Astoria Column lit up for the season before! It was bone-chillingly cold with the wind that night, but still a fun stop to make.

01 December 2008

A Quiet Corner of San Francisco

National AIDS Memorial

When I was in San Francisco this past July, I spent a Sunday afternoon in Golden Gate Park. After watching participants in a local race and listening to a free concert for a while, I wandered in the direction of the National AIDS Memorial Grove.


On every December 1st since 1988 recognition has been given to those whose lives have been--and continue to be--impacted by HIV and AIDS.

healing hope remembrance

It's a space for reflection and renewal. In small ways, I've been participating in the HIV prevention community for about 10 years now. So, on this December 1st, it seems appropriate to take a moment to share a quiet corner of San Francisco.

09 November 2008

Six Pic Saturday: Denver

I needed to have a little fun before leaving Denver, so this morning I set out on foot to explore a bit of the downtown area. I didn't get very far before stumbling upon the Veteran's Day Parade route:

kilts on parade

I think there is some unwritten rule, or perhaps just the curiosity of human nature, that makes one stop and watch a parade. For a while I was next to a group of energetic boy scouts. Den Leaders must be brave souls:

pack 358

After a while, I continued on to the Denver Art Museum. I had received an enthusiastic recommendation from my friend, Gail, and decided that if I could only do one thing in my spare time while in the city, this would be it:

DAM exterior

There were some fantastic exhibits, and the Hamilton Building was just about as exciting to see as the art:

foxes at play

Just a couple of blocks away from the museum I stopped for some yummy chicken shawerma for lunch:

chicken schwerma

And then it was time to return to the hotel and wait for the shuttle to the airport:


06 November 2008

A Geeky Kind of Fun

Eval conference program
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Why am I in Denver? Well...I decided that I needed to hang out with a bunch of evaluators to see if I want to keep moving my career in that direction. And let me tell you, this group is intense! They start with 7 am meetings, and keep talking until 7 pm and beyond.

With over 2700 attendees, 41 Topical Interest Groups, and a 250-page program guide, there is certainly something here to satisfy every facet of evaluation practice and policy.

I've gleaned some good ideas for both school and work -- ideas that I'm excited to return to Oregon and develop a bit further. And my time in Denver has also given me the opportunity to meet with students and professors associated with my CGU program.

But for right now? I'm looking forward to resting my weary head on the plethora of pillows on my hotel bed.

plethora of pillows

05 November 2008

History in Denver

History in Denver
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
It's interesting when travel and history collide. It creates a distinct memory, and a collective experience. I remember sitting around the communal table at Salumi in Seattle during spring break, listening in as others discussed the formal announcement of the war in Iraq that had just been made that morning.

Similarly, I know I will always remember where I was when the first African-American President of the United States was elected: I was in Denver--on the 21st floor of a hotel--listening to the cheers and the honking horns of the people on the street below.

03 November 2008

Not My Usual Bag

duffel bag1
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
I'm packing tonight for Denver. That, in and of itself, is not significant. I pack on a regular basis. On a weekly basis.

What is unusual, however, is the bag that will be accompanying me.

See, the canvas duffel bag to the right is my go-to bag. I haven't used anything else for 6 years. It has gone to Spain, Sicily, and Brazil with me -- and to every small town in Oregon. I know exactly how to pack my shoes and layer my clothes and still have room for trinkets I might pick up along the way.

I'll be attending a professional conference for the next few days, and my casual ways have to stay behind on this trip.

So, I pulled out my valet bag -- a bag that accommodates hangers of all things! I've surprised even myself with how much I've been able to pack within the confines of this case. I'll be back soon to post my reaction to Denver.

valet bag

28 October 2008

By the Roadside: Milton-Freewater

frog reading
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Frogs. They're everywhere in this small town. In front of the bakery. Reading in the shadow of city hall. Perched in front of the local certified public accountant's office. Frogs. Yup.

When your bigger neighbor to the south is famous for the Pendleton Round-up, what's a tiny agricultural town to do to draw attention to itself? Well, taking a cue from the annual Muddy Frogwater Festival, Milton-Freewater has adopted the frog as its official brand.

frog reading

It's a little more creative, say, than becoming another "Recreational Capitol of the West" or what have you. So the next time you find yourself in this stretch of the Blue Mountains, why not take a walking tour of the statues and support the local businesses?

cpa frog

13 September 2008

Home By Another Way

Painted Hills

One of the things I like about road trips is the ability to alter your route and schedule to suite your interests. I think I learned that from my parents, who would never drive the same road on the return trip if another, yet-to-be-discovered one, was available.

So, this summer on my return to Oregon I chose to go home by another way. I had already driven Highway 20 through the center of the state three times. What would a journey along Highway 26 between Vale and Prineville unveil?

Well, as it turns out a stunning side trip to see the Painted Hills.

Painted Hills

04 September 2008

Freshly sharpened pencils

CGU pillar
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
It's that time of year again when I wake up to the sound of car doors slamming outside my window as the local high school students park on the side street adjacent to my house. The time of year when the hint of summer is still in the air, but the school bell beckons.

I have always been one to get a little intoxicated by new books and freshly sharpened pencils. I not only love the process of learning, I love all the little accouterments that come along with it like pencil pouches and gummy erasers and library access to online journals.

Last week found me in southern California at Claremont Graduate University to attend a series of professional development workshops about evaluation. The workshops were excellent: well designed, intellectually challenging, and delivered by faculty from around the country. But you know what aspect really fulfilled me? Stepping onto a university campus and joining a community of scholars and practitioners that are passionate about learning and the work they do.

And fortunately for me, it is an experience I will get to repeat (albeit from a distance) for the next few months as I participate in CGU's certificate program in Advanced Study of Evaluation.

So now when I hear those school bells? It's a reminder that I need to hit the books myself, and do a little reading.

CGU gate

11 August 2008

Going on a Wild Strawberry Hunt

A couple of years ago I wrote about my memories of blueberry picking each summer. In fact, I reprized that role just last week so that I could pack fresh, Oregon blues to share with family in Idaho.

But this berry adventure? Well, we're going on a wild strawberry hunt. First, you'll need some transportation. Most anything will do, but a topless jeep sure makes for a fun ride:


You'll also need picking vessels. No buckets here, folks. Paper cups? Just the right size.

Next, find yourself a secluded and overgrown patch of brush along the river. It helps if you have an expert scout in your party. In our case, my mother has been summering in Island Park since the late 1930s, so she knew right where to look.

old road

Now, get yourself familiar with the shape of the plant you're looking for. Once you've found one, lift the branches and look close to the ground for the berries. Don't see any? Me neither. Don't get discouraged. We'll find some eventually.

berry plant

Ahh,look! Two ripe berries!! Expecting more? Tsk, tsk. This is going to be a lesson in patience and diligence, my friend. Repeat plant checking steps listed above for 1 hour...

berries and cups

...and this is what you'll have at the end of your labors!

Now, get yourself speedily back to camp so that you can clean and chill your berries before the summer heat renders them to nothing more than juicy pulp.

cleaning berries

It helps to use a small colander. It will make the berries appear larger and more plentiful. Watch out for sneaky little hands that want to steal them.

Now we're getting to the good part. Fold your berries into some egg whites that have been whipped with sugar. Place this concoction into a graham cracker crust and try to wait until after supper...

pie filling

Make sure to save a few berries to sprinkle on top!


Mmm, enjoy the fruits of your labors!

"Lazyman's Pie"

1. In a bowl, beat 2-3 egg whites until peaks form.
2. Continue beating egg whites while adding 1/2 cup sugar.
3. Fold in 2-3 cups of fresh raspberries or wild strawberries.
4. Pour mixture into prepared graham cracker crust.

29 July 2008

San Francisco Walks: Chinatown

bevy of buddhas
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
I had a great weekend in San Francisco earlier this month, and even took some photos. But I have been lazy about processing and posting them here to share with you. This Thursday, I take off for a week in Idaho with my family. So, here are a few pictures from my walk through Chinatown.

These are the steps leading up to St. Mary's Square:

Unassuming St Mary's Square

This was my favorite urban oasis that I found in the city. If you didn't know it was there, you'd never go see what is beyond that set of unassuming stairs.

But when you do...

newspaper reading

You'll find benches perfect for a little afternoon newspaper reading...

a little conversation

...and benches perfect for quiet conversation in the midst of a bustling city. As I exited the square, I met Stella and Claudia, to friends from Columbia (though one now lives in Texas and the other in England) searching for directions. I hope I didn't lead them astray!


There were lots of tea shops with numerous varieties of ginseng to buy.

silk pillows

And of course endless shops with housewares and knicknacks. I picked up some wooden chopsticks, a rice paddle, and a bag of chocolate fortune cookies to share when I returned to Oregon.

20 June 2008

Pedaling in Portland

LRBC wall
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Searching for something fun to do that will allow you to savor the summer sun that has finally arrived? May I suggest visiting some of the local cafes and coffee shops that are currently hosting the Cycle Seen art exhibit. There are nine locations, and the exhibits will be up through July 2nd.

I first found out about this effort through a chance visit to the Art Institute of Portland where a flyer announced an open call for submissions that depicted the bike culture around Portland.

I hastily looked through my photo files at home, and selected five from last year's Pedalpalooza festival. Not familiar with such a festival? Well, they like to tout it as 2+ weeks of bikey fun with a calendar of over 200 events. There's a ride to suit everyone's tastes. A quick perusal of tomorrow's events yields a tandem bike race, a zombie cycle rampage, and a NoPo bike in movie just to provide a sampling of the bicycling craziness that feeds off of Portland culture.

I was surprised by an email a few weeks later indicating that two of my photos had been selected for inclusion, and then just plain excited when I received my artist's packet and learned that one of my photos would be hanging at the Little Red Bike Cafe.

LRBC storefront

The LRBC is owned by Ali and Evan, the kind of local business you'd wish would open up in your neighborhood (they have a bike-up window, for heaven's sake!), and root for to prosper and thrive. I became a fan of the blog they keep about the cafe before I was ever able to visit it. And since I live out of town, it keeps me up to date and salivating about the new ice cream flavors they're creating like Salted Caramel with Candied Bacon Bits and Burnt Orange Honey Blossom. Yum!

My second photo is hanging at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SE Division Street.

stumptown sign

I was able to stop by and see the installed exhibit last Saturday, and let me tell you, this is the one not to miss! I am honored to have my amateur snapshot hanging amongst such talent.

stumptown outside in

Stumptown is also the location of the pieces that will be auctioned off in support of Bikes to Rwanda, a local nonprofit whose mission is to provide cargo bicycles for farmers in Rwanda to help them meet basic needs and improve their quality of life.

I just might be tempted to bid on one those photos myself!

13 June 2008

My Tiny Wordle

Created from the tags on my Flickr photos (and by some smart guys at IBM). Click on the image to see a larger version.

12 June 2008

When Travel Disappoints

smallest art gallery II
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
I fully expected to fall in love with Nashville. So when I didn’t, I was perplexed. I might even go so far as to say that I felt a bit betrayed by my steady companion called Solo Travel.

Solo Travel had spurred me on my three day jaunt to Lisbon in the dead of winter. Solo Travel had seen me through two solitary weeks in the interior of Sicily. Solo Travel had been my muse and guide through NYC, Calgary, Chicago, Seattle, Spokane, and countless other locales. Good and bad, I thought I knew what to expect.

Where did I go so wrong? It’s rare —never-before-happened-rare— that within three hours of landing somewhere I want to turn around and leave. Pitch a fit. Pound my fist into a pillow. Pretend I never rented a car.

Sigh. But I had. And there I was. With four long days stretching out before me and an entire state to explore. I was well researched. I had checked out books from the library. I had scoured the internet for restaurant recommendations, hip boutiques, farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and gazed at local photos on Flickr.

I hesitated as I wrote the title to this post. Really, doesn’t it say more about me, the traveler, rather than the locale? How can a girl who loves Iowa be thrown for a loop by Tennessee? I guess I discovered the place I can’t find my groove. Like pesky sand that won’t shake out of my favorite shoes.

But as some astute friends pointed out to me, I learned some things in a very visceral way I would not have otherwise: I’m a west-coast gal. Please don’t ask me to tolerate humidity. I want to further my education, but the ranking of the University isn’t as important to me as the faculty and their research.

After some reflection, I came to another conclusion. In thinking about my travels last year, which I dubbed my year of Intentional Travel – well, this trip was so unsatisfying in comparison. No friends or family on the other end. No one to explore and create memories with along the way. And so I find my plans for summer travel shifting and transforming a bit this year. Perhaps I need to break the routine of the past few years, and point myself in yet another direction. A direction I can’t yet anticipate, and will challenge me in new ways.

Where I end up? I don’t know. But when I arrive, I’ll let you know.

07 June 2008

My Photo Mosaic

My creation

Want to see what yours would look like? Follow these steps:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr (or other online) name

25 May 2008

May Excursions

This morning, as I was mapping out the route I will take from the airport to reach my lodging, the familiar flutter of travel excitement finally settled in.

Tomorrow I am off on another one of my celebratory end-of-training-season-can-finally-leave-Oregon-even- though- I-love-it excursions.

This tradition began three years ago, with two weeks in Sicily:

Via Maqueda lamp post

Okay, so Sicily was a little more than just a break-from-work trip. It was also my I-finally-finished-that-tortuous-thesis-and- completed-graduate-school trip! And it was the trip that inspired the start of this blog, and the purchase of my first digital camera.

In May 2006, I was just looking for a quick and cheap escape. Spokane provided the backdrop:

Footbridge crossing the Spokane River

May of 2007 found me learning how to milk a goat in the California desert with my sister and her family:


And May 2008? Well, there's no particular method to the selection of this year's location: Nashville, Tennessee. I'll be back on Friday night with pictures!

*And for those who played the guessing game in the last post, it wasn't a hint about this trip!

20 May 2008

My favorite signs of summer:

bike map
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Longer days
More daylight
Bike rides
Sun-ripened berries
New places to explore!

So, can you guess where I am going?

Here's a hint: Last September I crafted a weekend trip to Chicago around this renegade event.

03 May 2008

Six Pic Saturday: Bikes, bikes, bikes!

My Saturday was mapped out with errands, but then a curious sight caught my attention...

bike + art & you

A couple of weeks ago a large red-covered billboard appeared across from the city library. And today, the old City Center Motel property was crawling with bikes, bikes, and more bikes. Of course, I stopped.

free to go

Rooms 101-104 had been converted into small art galleries:

Room 103 exhibit

This is Dave. He's an art student at Western Oregon University. He and his wife, Rachel, happily demonstrated their participatory bicycle art.

paint preparation

The second floor balcony was a showcase of bicycles from the past. One of my favorites was the 1977 Schwinn Lil' Chik.

Lil' Chik

I did get to my errands, eventually. Befitting the day's theme, they were also bicycle-related. Two weeks ago I was invited to participate in the Cycle Seen exhibit that will take place in Portland during Pedalpalooza. Here's a preview of the two photos that will be shown:

framed art

Toes not included.