Guest Blogger, Reporting from the Front Lines in France


Can’t resist posting this one, which came in yesterday from my sister K. She’s vacationing in France with her husband B, son O (9) and daughter R (8).

Anyone who has ever traveled with children will relate to this tale, which is ripe with the inherent perils of taking small people out of their natural environment.


Yesterday on very winding mountain roads O puked in the rental car twice (first time he’s ever been car sick). Before I could pull over O puked again and R went exorcist and projectile vomited out of her nose and mouth.

Entire back seat of rental car in country we can’t communicate in covered in puke.

By the time I could pull over (rental car’s a stick, husband can’t drive, shit) both kids spill out of car and continue puking.

I was so shocked I took pictures.

B hugged.

Then I pulled an ‘I can’t get near it or I will puke’ (clearly R is related to me). B bravely and effectively cleaned it up with bags and boxes I found in the trash can near the highway.

Beat that.


My sis is behind one of my favorite quotes on this subject, which she may have recalled during the French Vomit Incident.

“Vacationing with children is like regular life, only harder, but with a better view.”

I used that quote in an essay I titled “A Better View,” which I found out two weeks ago is going to be included in a Chicken Soup For the Soul book, to be published next year.

Far out. And thanks, K!

Carry on, brave sister! Count on me to keep your battle stories alive.


Powell’s Tonight!

I’ll be at Powell’s on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, 7:30 p.m. tonight, reading from my new book “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir.”

Join myself and Matt Love, author of “Love and the Green Lady,” for some good times and Oregon literature!

For more information on both books see

Ask Oregon Launches!

Travel Oregon has a cool new program and it went live this week! 13 Ask Oregon travel ambassadors answer your questions about this awesome state live through various social media. You guessed it – I’m one of them.

Facebook Link for Ask Oregon

My twitter link

My facebook link

Here’s how it works:

Ask Oregon

You could say Oregon is a refuge for dreamers: a place where it’s still possible to grow the best hazelnut, hike to an isolated, breath taking vista, or explore a unique display of artistic expression.

To help you have an authentic experience, our Ask Oregon ambassadors are ready to share their expertise on cycling, hiking, dining, and traveling across our beautiful state.

Have a question? Ask Oregon!

On Twitter, use the hashtag #AskOR or click the icon.

On Facebook, ask on Travel Oregon’s wall or click the icon.


I’m really excited to participate alongside some cool travel Oregon experts….come on by and Ask Oregon.

One thing to do with that misbegotten forestry degree


Chicken Noodle: “I hate poop.”

Me: “Well, it’s kind of just a part of life.”

CN: “I know. Animals poop and boys poop and everybody poops.”

Me: “Right.”

CN: “Trees poop and pee too. When leaves fall it’s pee and poop is whole branches.”

Me: “Actually, the crazy truth is that trees poop gasses. Like oxygen, which we need. It’s what we breathe.”

CN: “What.”

Me: “Yeah, oxygen is a tree’s waste product, like our poop and pee. They get rid of something we need. That’s why trees are our friends. Cool, huh?”

CN: “You mean I am breathing poop right now?”

Me: “Sure. Tree poop.”

CN: “Gross! You mean that tree is pooping and peeing on me right now when we walk by?”

ME: “Yah, kind of.”

CN: “Oh, yuck! I can feel it on my arms, ugh, my legs are covered in tree poop, stop, tree, no!”



Me: “Chicken?”

CN: “Yeah?”

Me: “You are so awesome.”

CN: “Thanks, Mom. You are too.”


Big Week for “Day Trips,” “Chance of Sun,” and Me

Today: An interview with me about my new book “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir” will air on KBND 1110 ( radio.

Wednesday: Reading and signing for both “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir” and “Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler” at Blackbird Wine Shop in Portland, 4323 Northeast Fremont Street, 7 p.m.

Thursday: Book signing for “Day Trips From Portland” at the Clackamas Costco, 13130 S.E. 84th, Portland, 12 – 2 p.m.

Friday: Willamette Writer’s Conference

Saturday: I’m teaching two workshops at the Willamette Writer’s Conference, “Anatomy of a Magazine Article” and “Engaging the Senses in Travel Writing”; and holding a book signing for both “Day Trips” and “Chance of Sun” from 3 – 3:30 p.m. Sheraton Hotel at the Portland Airport.

Sunday: Willamette Writer’s Conference; and book signing for “Day Trips from Portland” at Tigard Costco, 7855 S.W. Dartmouth Rd., Portland, 1 – 3 p.m.

Hope to see some of you somewhere! 🙂

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