Saturday, December 29, 2007

rico's long lost cousin?

Christmas evening found a sad little shivering friend on my parent's front step. My parents wouldn't let me touch 'im, though he looked so lonely...

Friday, December 28, 2007

it wouldn't be christmas without...

building forts around infants...
morning walk to Safeway to purchase needed feasting items...
continuing the walk to Nina's drive-through coffee shop (the only coffee shop in Junction City)...
a Christmas elf to pass out the presents...
guitar picks shaped into a guitar with scotch tape (okay, this isn't a yearly tradition, but I was so proud of my little brother for being so creative that I had to document it)...

swinging to get coffee the next morning...
and Auntie Jo taking ridiculous amounts of pictures...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

nephews galore

Christmas time afforded many opportunities for Auntie Jo bonding time with two of her three nephews. I sort of bonded with Aaron via Skype--but the distance to Singapore was definitely felt.

Jack and I had a little photoshoot a few days before Christmas:

Donny is almost 6 months old & is still learning the art of sitting up by himself:

Grandpa & Grandma Whittaker:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

clara nielson whittaker borovec

October 8, 1915
by Joann Renee

19,343 people crowded
into a stadium to watch the Phillies win
their first and only World Series game before 1980.
Poor Red Sox.

In France the Battle of Loos claimed
nearly 430,000 French, British and German—
teaching us the very costly lesson
to never interfere in a toilet’s business

William E. Vaughan, the American writer who wrote,
Perhaps the crime situation would be improved if we could get more cops
off television and onto the streets

and E. Paul Torrance, the “Creativity Man”,
joined Clara Nielson in making their earthly entrance.

57 years later Clara’s birthday present
was the birth of her first grandchild, Kimberly Joy.

I am sure each one of these 449,347 have a unique story,
but today I’m only interested in the one who shares
a name with the composer and wife of Robert Schumann,
with ETA Hoffmann’s lead character in “The Nutcracker”
and with the greatest silent film actress of all time.

Her name means clear, bright, famous,
but my grandmother lived a relatively quiet life.

Growing up, I would visit her house hidden
behind acres of trees where she would feed me
home-dried fruit and little Danish cookies
(pebernodder or pfeffernuesse, pronounced poo-a-nitta)
that were proportionate to her size.
I don’t think she ever quite cleared 5 feet.

The first thing I did on walking through the door
was to measure myself against her to see if I was taller yet.
Years later she would smile softly and chuckle
as the grandkids lined up, towering over her,
to hug their “little grandma” who made the little cookies
that they loved to toss in the air
or hurl at an unsuspecting uncle.

92 years, 2 months, 6 days,
5 children, 7 grandchildren, and nearly 7 great grandchildren
after that early Autumn day Clara smiled, slept
and joined the 430,000 who left the day she arrived.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

supporter of the British party during the colonial days?

That's what my little brother, Timmy, asked her (Tori) on their first introduction.
I was privileged to take her senior pictures this past Sunday in the 25 degree, slightly blustery weather. Here are my favorites:

Friday, December 07, 2007

the ultimate volleyball match

This past Tuesday I was able to pull out my trusty volleyball skills and my purple lipstick for a pre-Oneighty volleyball match of Oneighty staff against the Mt. View varsity team. The staff took the opportunity to don wacky outfits (any good youth staff will take any and every opportunity to make fools out of themselves). Volleyball remains to this day the only sport I'm any good at (I can't even bowl well!).

We lost the first two matches & won the last.

Cassie & I with pre-game intensity:

Fabiola, the Paraguayan Bullet, with pre-serve intensity:

The female half of the team getting psyched for the game to begin (the guys refused to be in the picture...lame):

We are so cool. You can see the Christmas tree in the background, which I feel really adds the desired atmosphere to this picture (and to the evening):

Look at the air he's getting on this one! I don't really know if it's proper volleyball technique to jump mid-pass, but it sure looks cool:

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I promised my brother that I'd post a poem of Singapore adventures. I have yet to write one...I suppose I'm still processing the foreign sights & sounds before attempting to shrink them into a poem. However, here is one inspired by the trip.

Be warned, it is a little depressing, but hopefully it captures a little of the essence of the sojourner's heart.

by Joann Renee

seven PM here means ten AM there
one week ago I eagerly boarded a
plane there’s no place like
home there’s no place like
home there’s no place like
home is where the henna is?
my heart is divided
into so many
portions that home has become relative
while lying awake
on my own bed thoughts Bend
to a fragment still cradling
your sleep-imposed sweat-soaked body
then tugs at an edge-piece praying
somewhere in Oregon with a lonely girl
longing for a whole
heart and more love
not realizing yet how
diametrically opposed is the ache
I’ve tried to live fully
in one place but crooning
behind bars of ribs—
there’s no place of
home there’s no place of
home there’s no place of
Sings a poor shredded heart.

Monday, November 26, 2007

it wouldn't be thanksgiving without...

the big bad frisbee gangsters!
being attacked by said gangsters!
dessert! (which is sadly only milk for little Donny)

super-model Daddy!
and Christmas with Aunt Jackie, Uncle David, Heather & Sammy Jo! (sorry this picture lacks the creativity I normally muster for ever picture...I was too distracted with presents & nephews to focus on my photography)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

the wedding

Eric & Lindsay were married this past Friday at the trendy, exciting, historic & beautiful Tower Theatre in downtown Bend.

The happy couple.

An artsy shot of the decor & Avenue H (the guitarist is part of emote360).

Lorelei came into town. We frolicked. We laughed. We ate ocean rolls. We read our Bibles. We ate Taco Bell & drank sparkling pear cider. We discussed Leonardo DiCaprio. We parted ways with sorrow, but with the hope of a Christmas reunion.

the accessory

On my way to the wedding, parked 3 blocks away on one of those adorable little side-streets downtown with the quaint cracked sidewalk lining the streets, in 35 degree slightly rainy weather, wearing my roommates amazing red heels (which were only one size too big for me)--you guessed it--I ate it. It was beautiful.

I laughed at myself as I hobbled to Bellatazza, a few doors down from the wedding venue, and bandaged up (thanks Anthony!) before continuing on to the happy event.

And here it is in all it's glory. It looks more like a bear mauled me, instead of the sidewalk.

the culprit

the moral of the story

As Trina lovingly reminded everyone at the wedding of the time that Eric left Lindsay & I on the frozen ocean, thinking that a polar bear was chasing us & that Lindsay & I were close behind. And how I was wearing Micah's boots (definitely too big for me) & (you guessed it again) I fell flat on my face shortly into my attempted escape.
wheel of morality, turn turn turn, tell us the lesson that we must learn...

whether in Barrow or in Bend, stop wearing other people's shoes! particularly when they are too big! I don't know if this rule applies to bowling & ice skating, but I'm not sure I want to find out...