Monday, December 22, 2008

News about the degree (12-22-08)

I can't believe I did it! I finally finished my last two classes at Portland State University.

Now, it is only a matter of time before I get my diploma.

Portland Houses: Pittock Mansion (12-06-08)

What can I say about this quasi-castle, the most famous house in Portland?

The Pittock Mansion is situated on top of a forested hill that must have been difficult to reach in the 1920s. Whenever I visit it, my thoughts go to the staff whose function was to be at the beck and call of the owners. So, more than the grand Music Room, or the Library, the spaces that interest me are those one which the rest of the house depended to be functional. For a long time, the kitchen was closed, but now restored, it is part of the tours. Although it is a large room with a great view of downtown, equipped with a superb top-of-the (1920s) line of stove, adjacent to a walk-in cooling room, there is hardly a counter to work on or a surface to lay things on.

Portland Houses: The Lion and the Rose (12-06-08)

The Lion and the Rose is a famous Bed and Breakfast in Portland. We were given a tour of this superb house by one of the owners. It has been gorgeously decorated (flowery wallpapers, antiques, period-style light fixtures, etc.). Imagine, 7 bedrooms and about 9 bathrooms! I loved the amazing attic with cavernous ceilings and a tiny turret room.

This house is listed on the Historic Register, and so a sign was posted announcing that the house would be open for tours the next day. I wanted J. and C. them to see this beautiful house, so we went back and had a great time admiring it.

Portland Houses: The Georgian House (12-06-08)

The owner of The Georgian House Bed and Breakfast gave us a tour of her house which she operates as a Bed and Breakfast. Although I am not partial to Country style, the consistency of the decorating was very pleasant overall. This house is obviously well-cared for and is a lovely, welcoming and comfortable place.

Portland Houses: White House (12-06-08)

The White House, a famous Bed and Breakfast in Portland is very impressive Greek Revival mansion is a breath-taker, a heart-stopper, a beautiful, immaculate house in a perfect setting.

Portland Houses: Clinker Brick House (12-06-08)

Hmm... Although this house had a certain charm, the dormers' metal frame windows were obviously not period and the big rust-colored metal panes in front of the gutter channels looked unsightly.

We used to own a (great) house in Medford with two fireplaces made of clinker bricks. I was told that these bricks which look almost black and whose shapes are often distorted were brought up to Oregon after the Great Fire of San Francisco in 1906 and used on new construction of the time.

Portland Houses: Tudor House (12-06-08)

I didn't care for this house. It seemed very average compared to some other houses in Irvington.

Portland Houses: Cottage House (12-06-08)

I did some sketches of houses for my last class at Portland State University.

The Cottage House is my favorite. It's essentially a Tudor style house whose woodwork has been refinished in natural stain (as opposed to the usual dark brown). I particularly liked the bent shingles roof, don in an effort to keep the general shape, -if not the look, of a straw roof.

Belgium: My Aunt and Uncle (11-25-08)

While in Belgium, I went to visit my aunt (Tante Marcelle) and my uncle (Onc' Jacques).
My aunt is 83; she always has some interesting story to tell, while my uncle (85) tends to joke, with the same sort of dry humor my cousins inherited.

Tante Marcelle:
"Ah, that reminds me what happened with the neighbors, but that was 16 years ago, no, wait, it was 12 years ago, because I remember the wall hadn't been rebuilt yet, well, what was I saying? Oh, that's right, the neighbors, nice people; they always say "Hello" so nicely. But they have the nerve to park the truck right across the gate and there's no room left for anyone. Did I tell you the man is a truck driver? No? Anyway, they always say hello very nicely, but then, the kids do the darnedest things. They keep kicking their soccer ball over the gate, and it pisses me off that they keep doing it, over and over. When I go down the alley, if I have to go get groceries, and I find the ball, I throw it back over the gate, but I had to go tell the mother to tell the kids to stop ringing the doorbell at the gate. It's happened several times, I had to go all the way down the alley, then the stairs. -Ah, it was exactly 12 and half years ago, because we redid the stairs after the wall!- So you see, it just doesn't seem right for an old lady like me to have to go down all the way down the alley then the stairs, and just for a soccer ball, you see. It's bad enough that I have to go down those stairs twice a week to go get groceries. Ah, yes, that's right; I was telling you about the neighbor. What did I want to tell again? I can't remember anymore... I have the worst memory. No, really, I assure you. I can't remember anything. It's terrible how low we sink. So, as I was saying, those people are always parking their darn truck in the street and there is no room to do anything, see, since it's a cul-de-sac, no one can turn their car around because of his %^!! truck. But they're nice people...for the most part."

Onc' Jacques:
"You can almost tell whose car it was by the color of the paint scrapes on the side of the truck!"