cheers to good culture

I very much appreciate that Jeff’s employer, Point B, puts great emphasis on cultivating a strong employee culture. Each year they go out of their way to host “culture events” not just for the associates, but also for their partners and sometimes, the whole family.

The past few years they’ve hosted a day of wine tasting and not surprisingly, Jeff and I are always happy to partake. The day includes visits to three wineries with private tastings, a private lunch hosted by one of the wineries and of course, some wine to take home. This year’s event was this past Saturday. We visited Soter Vineyards, Willakenzie Estate and ended at Solena Estate. All were fabulous, though Soter was my favorite; a gorgeous by-appointment-only glass tasting room on a hill overlooking the valley, that happens to double as the part of the owner’s second home. I was ready to move in.

The whole day is always a fun time…I’m already looking forward to next year.

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reconnecting

I’m writing this post from the beautiful coastal town of Yachats, Oregon. I absolutely love the Oregon coast, and I adore Yachats. It’s a tiny little town that is full of sheer beauty: one of those places that somehow makes you appreciate just being alive.

I’ve been here twice before: the first time when Jeff and I came alone a couple of years ago to celebrate our anniversary and the second time just this past March when we (meaning, all four of us) rented a house here for the weekend to get away for the first weekend that our house was up for sale.

This time, I’m here with my mom. It’s been a very long time since just the two of us have spent any time together and some circumstances told us it was time to reconnect. So, I took a couple of days off work and we met here in Yachats, staying at the Fireside Motel. It’s not the fanciest place I’ve ever stayed by far, but you know what? It’s pretty awesome in its own right. The room is a bit on the retro side, quite large (king bed, thank you very much) and has a fireplace and a balcony with an oceanfront view that is more often found in the kind of place that costs a heck of a lot more than some $100ish a night. No wonder this place gets great reviews on Trip Advisor!

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flashback friday

This picture is the view from our room at a bed & breakfast Jeff and I stayed at in Mendocino, California in December 2003. We took this picture as night fell the first evening we were there. Later, in the middle of the night, a massive rain and wind storm blew in and the ocean fiercely pounded that cove just outside our window all night long. We had a gas fireplace in our room that was on while we slept, and it was all bit frightening, yet so cool at the same time. I’m still looking forward to being on the Oregon coast sometime for another big winter storm.

wildflowers

Earlier this spring (which is, of course, really more like late winter in Portland), I noticed when I was coming in and out of work every day that our horticulture team was giving a lot of attention to the large island of dirt that stands beside a side road that runs in front of the admin buildings and in front of an entrance to the main lot for the zoo.

Then, one week I noticed several piles of a very dark substance appeared on the island that was later spread around. Typically, I would have assumed that it was a very rich soil, except that it definitely had a certain “smell” to it. This led me to one conclusion: that it was actually the infamous “Zoo Doo,” which is a compost made up of animal manure, among other things. I have not asked anyone about this to confirm my suspicions, but I’m pretty sure that I am right. (Flash to my husband reading this and saying to himself: Yeah, that’s what you always claim.)

I didn’t give it much more thought until one day, there was suddenly this beautiful field of wildflowers on the island. It’s so pretty and I so enjoy admiring them as I walk up from our parking area into our building each morning. It’s a nice way to start the day. Here are some photos I attempted of the flowers today:

meet Viz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon a few of us ventured out to Camas, Washington for a communications planning retreat on a colleague’s ranch. I had never been to Camas before – or frankly, even remotely close to Camas – but once I got over the initial shock of just how long the commute is, I found it quite lovely. So pretty and peaceful; I can see the appeal for sure. She has this amazing barn on her property, which she calls her “dream come true” and this is her beloved horse, Viz, short for Visible Difference. As you can see, Viz gave us a warm greeting when we arrived before heading out to the pasture to relax for the afternoon while we worked out on the patio. And yes, we actually did get something done.