Sunday, May 27, 2007

Everyday Rhythms

It seems as if we've been plugging along for the last few weeks. You know how it goes, you fall into a rhythm and before you know it the bills are due again because it's the top of the month. Speaking of which, how did May fly by so fast?

We've been enjoying the warming weather. We put up a canopy and built a little outdoor living room of sorts. It's waterproof as well which actually ends up being handy since it is still raining quite a bit here.

The second week of May marked the beginning of the Farmer's Market Season here in Portland. This is always exciting for me as I would prefer to shop at markets all year round. I prefer to meet the actual farmers and know that my money is going directly to their business. Perhaps it was growing up around agriculture, perhaps it's knowing that my food is organic and ethically harvested. Perhaps it's the amazing cookies they sell at the market. Whichever it is I am hooked. Now every Saturday I can be found riding the train down to the market and hauling back my booty. This week I am trying a saute with Thai flowering greens. I had never heard of these and am excited to give it a try. I also purchased a beautiful batch of local made honey harvested from bees who pollinated blackberry/strawberry/and blueberry plants. Yum!

Here's a small example of the booty! Here we've got locally grown Kale, Collard Greens, Strawberries, Lettuce Mix, Carrots, and Sun Flowers. Each week the harvest changes and I can not wait for blueberries and blackberries to arrive! This year I will be making some jams with these local beauties.

Aside from the Farmer's Market I have been hard at work with our little garden. I tasted my first ripe strawberry of the season yesterday and it was amazing. Nothing beats the tast of home grown produce. However, most plants in the garden are still just small versions of what they will grow to be. It's hard to imagine that in a few short weeks I won't be able to walk through the garden without stepping on plants. If anything it's challenging when planting the starts to space them out enough. I never believe they will get as big as they do, and of course every year they prove me wrong.

This morning I woke to find a new friend living outside of our front door. She is so big I thought maybe she'd start talking. After the initial shock and creepy crawly skin I had to laugh at the fact that we need her help. Every summer flies tend to congregate right in front of our door. We installed a screen door but still they manage to sneak into the apartment. We have tried a bug zapper and the flies show absolutely no interest in this piece of technology. Perhaps our new neighbor here will keep the fly population down so we can spend less time swatting this summer.

The flowers continue to bloom as the weather slowly warms. We have had our run of Lilac already. The roses are beginning to flush out, and with them the Irises and Peony. And with all this beauty comes the lawn work:)

Here is our lovely neighbor Deanna displaying our old fashioned push mower that we use to clip the grass. We bought this mower used for $10 and it's been a great investment. We have an abnormally large yard for city living, but it's still not that big. We save on gas and get a little exercise this way, and of course cut down on the noise. And of course lawn work wouldn't be the same without a little help from Tommy. He's usually busy keeping the squirrels terrified and the birds at bay.

Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the beginning of summer. We are excited that our two year wedding anniversary is around the corner (July 23rd). It doesn't seem possible that it was two summers ago that we were all in Montana together making merry and taking pictures of the staples Jeff got put in his head:) We are hoping to escape to the coast for a night or two with the dogs. We've just been tipped of to a series of lovely hotels on the ocean that are dog friendly. So, away we will go and take pictures for another blog.

Some parting photos of the Rhododendron trees.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I made it through midterms once again! Now I can begin studying for the finals:)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Yeah for Vacation!

Wow, I'm finally making it to the computer after a few weeks of wonderful vacation, planting the garden, and school midterms. Well, the midterms aren't wonderful and there are more to take tomorrow. This morning on my trip to the coffee shop the Irises were in such a riotous bloom that I almost fell off my bike. I've been meaning to post some photos of flowers this spring. Maybe that will be the next entry.

We had Pam with us the first week of May and had such a wonderful time visiting. We managed a visit to the coast with her friend Kathleen, a drive through the Columbia River Gorge, lots of great food, some theater, and a hail storm.

After driving back from the Oregon Coast we hit the city center just in time for the immigrant's rights march. We were wondering exactly why we couldn't get through traffic and news helicopters were circling.

The Columbia River Gorge was breathtaking. The weather held out and we drove the historic Columbia River Highway. This is a beautiful old road full of stone bridges and breathtaking waterfalls. Spring is the best time of year to visit this area since the winter runoff contributes to the power of the falls.

This is a view of the Columbia River Gorge:

Here are Scott and Mom with dogs and view. Note, Jelly's pink sightseeing t-shirt.

Then it was time to actually "take in" some waterfalls

We stopped at several waterfalls but perhaps the most "famous" is Multnomah Falls. This waterfall offers a lower and upper viewing bridge. Here is Scott on the upper bridge.

We also spent some time playing in the city as well. Pam got a healthy dose of public transit with us, including our much beloved MAX train line which we used amongst other things, to pick her up at the airport.

An afternoon running around isn't complete without a Bubble Tea! For those of you who haven't had this before, it's tea with tapioca "pearls" in the bottom. You have to drink it through a fat straw and you end up chewing up the tapioca. Sounds kindof gross, but it's wonderful.

We had such a wonderful visit I wish it could have gone on for weeks. Alas, all good things come to an end and we've been "back to the grind" for a few weeks now. This is midterm week for me so the books are everywhere and I am drinking far too much coffee. This is my last term of "core" classes. Starting in July I am working in the student clinic. Oh no, they are turning me loose on the public!!! I wonder if they know what they are doing?

I finished planting the garden which is always incredibly satisfying. The tedious work of the early season is now complete. I will sit back, water, prune, and watch our vegetables grow! This seasons crop includes: Slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sauce tomatoes, pole beans, brussel sprouts, spinach, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, strawberries, summer squash, zuccini, mini pumpkins, gypsy peppers, bell peppers, hopefully kiwis, and sunflowers.

Hope you are all well and happy. Much love!