The Prime of Miss Maggie

Last week I heard about the search for the largest known Mersenne prime number. If you remember from elementary school: a number is called a prime number if ‘its only positive divisors’ are one and itself. The website goes on to tell us that: ‘On September 6th, the 46th known Mersenne prime, 237,156,667-1, a 11,185,272 digit number was found by Hans-Michael Elvenich in Langenfeld near Cologne, Germany!’

Pretty exciting stuff, eh? Actually, it makes my head hurt. But I like the idea of a prime number….say, like, 53. Because that’s how old I am! Today!

I am in my Prime.

Like carefully pampered wine, aged in oak barrels I like to imagine that I am Amusing and Mellow, Elegantly Authentic (see Easy Wine Descriptors for more of that).

My life is blessed. So very much for which to be grateful. Thank you to all of the lovely (and even the not-so-lovely) people who helped me get here.

love, the Birthday Girl

February 2009

Whoosh! That went quickly! Although on some of the recent snowy days I was feeling quite ready for winter to be done. All in all it was a busy month….some work…lots of fun.

Visits from Lovely Young Relatives At the end of January my cousin’s daughter, Leonie came to visit us for a few weeks. She is nearly finished with a 7-8 month around the world trip. Plucky girl, n’est-ce pas? She enjoyed having some privacy and her own bathroom for a time 😉 Right about now she will be returning to her home IN The Netherlands.
Last week, Niece Laura came for a visit. She and I visited the spa one afternoon (someone had to take her, right?) and then we capped off the week with a few days in Victoria, BC.

Palmer House The heavy-duty work is complete and now our contractor is finishing the little bits. I promise pictures soon! Now, we are onto decorating and savoring life in this old beauty.

Get A Life
Early in the month I marched my first parade with the Band. Here’s a clip:
At 25 seconds I come into the picture–middle dancer, 3rd row. I cannot describe the rush of marching down the street with hundreds of parade-goers clapping and yelling. SO MUCH FUN! Can’t wait for the next Parade. You can check out the 2009 schedule

Wishing you a Fabulous March!

Our Fathers

Today would have been our Dad’s birthday. And in my e-mail I received this touching note from beloved Cousin Marianne:

Your sweet dad would have turned 80 today, had he still been among us…
On April 1st, my dad would have turned 75. Those are impressive ages and yet, looking around me… you can see quite a number of people that age. It can still make me sad and happy at the same time, to realize how much they would have enjoyed being a witness of ongoing developments. To see the grandchildren grow up… and even the great-grandchildren with Ray and Eva… they would have been so proud and thrilled and grateful. Knowing that deep within our hearts, they can still be a source of inspiration for us as their offspring and guide us through our lives.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you Marianne.

Miss you Dad.

Head Shot

Sigh. It’s time. Time to update my head shot. I absolutely loved my previous head shot done by the excellent Steve Cridland. But that was 15 years and many more pounds ago. It’s time to be me–the 52 year-old me.

I worked with John Klicker (yes, that’s his name!) who, with his wife, Julie Keefe, has a studio in a wonderful old warehouse not from from us. John made me very comfortable and gave me a ton of choices. After careful conferring with my people I’ve boiled it down to these three. I worry that the updo may be too, um, candidate-like and my hair in the other is pretty big. That said, which one says “Maggie”? Which one says, “I am easy to work with, have a good sense of humor and excellent coaching skills; I’m intelligent and professional but friendly and warm.” Or is that expecting too much from a picture?

At any rate, my brother, Ray, can’t tease me about doing the head tilt in these poses ;).

Art Show!

For the past four years I’ve been a member of the Portland Art Collective. Thanks to this wonderfully supportive, creative and funny group I’ve actually been developing some new skills in art and craft. Fortunately, there are some REAL artists in the group.

This year I’m participating in the second annual art show (jewelry) and, if you are in the area, I hope you can drop by!

Two days only!

Friday, December 5, 11:00 – 8:00
Saturday December 6, 11:00 – 5:00

Multnomah Arts Center
7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland

Collage, fiber, glass, jewelry, paintings, and more by twenty regional artists – some featured in national publications. Many original gifts for under $20.

The Audacity of Hope

I have not yet read Obama’s book but this morning I feel really happy and hopeful again. The election four years ago was SO disheartening. I couldn’t understand how Bush was RE-elected. The country felt sad.

Today the country feels happy. Last night spontaneous celebrations happened all over America. My son wrote that fireworks were popping in Portland. We walked past Times Square where people were cheering.

But it’s not just America. This morning I had an email from my cousin in the Netherlands who wrote:

Well, when I woke up this morning I immediately thought of you and my other American Kolkena relatives! BARACK FOR PRESIDENT!! Im sooo happy that he got elected, as are all the other Dutch people. We so love him and his ideas. I hope he’ll keep his word and applies the changes he presumes to carry out. But I really trust him and have the feeling that happy and good times will come for America!

This will be a major shift in America and the world.


American History

We are in NYC for a few days and tonight we are watching history emerging. McCain campaigners ‘cannot see a way’ for him to win. Barack Obama WILL BE our next President. HALLELUJAH!!

This afternoon I took a Big Onion walking tour called “Revolutionary New York”. For two hours I listened to a tour guide (with a PhD!) tell stories about the early years of our country. (The astute observer will notice Trinity Church in the background…key site in one of my favorite movies, National Treasure). By the end of the tour we had walked the distance of the town of New York in those Revolutionary years, when 30,000 to 40,000 settlers lived here. Absolutely fascinating.

We stopped at the site of the Federal Hall National Monument.

This is where George Washington was inaugurated as our First President. Not our King. A new model that still stands.

And, honestly, it was really inspiring to be here on Election Day. A day when so many people cared about the outcome that a 68% turnout is expected.

God Bless America. indeed. And God bless Obama. He is going to be good for our country and our world.

Lost Weekend

I spent far too much time sitting around this weekend. Partially, I was justified: had a small biopsy at Dr. Adler’s office (just being thorough) and Susan plied me with delicious Atavin to lessen the sting. So, it was a lost weekend. Although I DID spend a lot of time on my computer…

Lately, I’ve become a Facebook member and there is SO MUCH FUN to be had playing Scrabble, listing places you’ve been in the world, listing your heritage….many hours to be spent there in faux productivity.

Then I joined a new site to keep track of books I’ve read and books I want to read:

Then Janet sent me this great link:
Pretty funny stuff.

Still, I think I’ll get out of the house today and walk or something.