Deb and I are at the beach for a scrapbook weekend! Technically, I have scrapbooked: I’ve done exactly three pages, and I am proud of myself.

So what does one do at scrapbook weekend if one is not scrapbooking, you ask?

Well, we have a tradition that we follow on the way there. First, we stopped at every Goodwill between Portland and Lincoln City, where we scored on Creative Memories albums and a couple of games for David. And a clock. And a book. And a cool wine glass. Then we have lunch at McMenamin’s Lighthouse Pub in Lincoln City, where I always eat the salmon sandwich. (This particular trip, it was quite appropriate, because it was a Friday in Lent.) Finally, it is off to the beach house!

We settled in, and Deb got busy cropping like a maniac. I, on the other hand, did the work I spoke of yesterday, sorted papers, ate some candy, checked my email, took a nap, drank a margarita, watched some Olympics (men’s figure skating and women’s Super G, both incredible), wrote a blog post, and did a jello shot. There are some awesome women to hang out with, so whatever I do, I am having a good time.

Today, though, I really buckled down. I slept until 10:30, paid a couple of bills, sorted through my Christmas paper and stickers, did those three scrapbook pages (of Christmas 2016), did another jello shot, had another margarita, watched some more Olympics, took a really long nap, and then uploaded and sorted tons and tons of photos (from 1988 to 2006)!  I call this a productive day, in a very pampering weekend.

Fry Day (I’m in love)

In addition to all the other consequences of Quinland being gone (an empty space in our little family, a lonely dog, and a lot less laundry), I was really missing all of Q’s friends. Some had gone away to college, some are going to school here in Portland, others are still in high school, but without Quinland to pull them into our orbit, I was afraid we’d lose touch.

You see, we have been blessed to have a huge bunch of young people in our lives — and our home — over the years. These kids are amazing. They are smart and kind and funny and thoughtful and loud and creative and just basically awesome. However, they are getting a little too old to be called “kids,” so I decided they needed a new name.

The term kid comes, of course, from young goats, so I decided we needed another baby-animal name. Puppies? Kittens? Lambs? (Picture me as an elderly British woman.) These all seemed too babyish. Cubs? Calves? Goslings? No, no, no… Then I remembered when we raised salmon in my classroom back in days of yore. The eggs hatch into creepy-looking alevin, and then develop into little fry. That was it! Same meaning, but without the same juvenile connotation. (And besides, this is the Pacific Northwest! We love salmon!) Although Quinland might have preferred joeys, the Young People I Love are now officially called Fry. Continue reading “Fry Day (I’m in love)”

Him, Her, Them, Us – opens next week!

Now that Quinland has graduated from high school, it is up to the other fry to keep me posted about the goings-on of the SouthWest StageWorks theatre company. The fall musical, an adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost, was hilarious, and I have been anxiously awaiting the next production, which opens on February 15th.

Why am I so excited for this one? Well, it could be because of the consistently stellar work done by the Wilson theatre department. But it could also be because Gracie has a lead in the play! Call me biased about my fry if you like, but that kid can act, and I can’t wait to see her slay the audience. (I believe that is a figurative phrase, but the makeup previews I’ve seen on Instagram have been pretty gory, so…)

I have taken the liberty of lifting the information for the play right off the (SW)2 website for your convenience, so read on for more info.  For tickets, click HERE.



Written by: Claire Willett and Jeffrey Denight
Directed by: Matthew B. Zrebski

In its sixth year collaborating with SouthWest StageWorks at Wilson High School, Playwrights West company members Claire Willett and Jeff Denight have each penned a one-act, investigating the themes and challenges associated with gender and coming of age in the 21st Century.  This thematic choice is based largely on observations at Wilson High School and in schools across the city and country.  More and more, the definitions and expectations of gender are being challenged and redefined.  The emerging generation is front and center in confronting what may be a paradigm shift in how gender and identity are both claimed and perceived.  The plays will be presented as an evening of theatre with an intermission separating them.

Red Sky At Morning
by Claire Willett
Old friendships, new crushes, and way too much pizza meet swashbuckling adventure as Marcus and his friends play a maritime battle role-playing game.  But when the game collides with real life, all must confront the ways we’re shaped – for bad or good – by the online communities we live in.  A biting comedy, Red Sky At Morning dares us to confront how 21st Century media is defining the people we are – and the people we might become.

by Jeff Denight
Jacky is a teen with a most sacred secret. As her disclosed truth ripples through the community, forces clash to define the acceptable, the normative, the allowable.   Expectations are weaponized.  Silence is used as violence.  And threats loom in the form of unimaginable horror.  A neo-modernist drama, LOST_FOR_WORDS pushes the boundaries of theatricality, demanding that we question how we choose to embrace – or reject – the gray areas in our lives…
(Runs Feb 15-24 and is appropriate for audiences aged Middle School and older for mature language and situations)