Showing posts from 2014

Begin Again

I think it's time to come back to this blog. Not because it's important, but because every so often I have something I want to discuss deeply with myself, and it works well for me to do it here. If I write something I know others might read, it forces me to take better care with my words and my thoughts. It helps me sort out that random blah blah blah that runs through most human heads most of the time. 
Some people meditate. I'd rather eat dirt. Some people journal. I find that an excuse to be too self-indulgent and whiney, and something that must be hidden from others. Too exhausting, on many levels.
So here I am, in Portland, in winter, thinking deep thoughts, or just going for a walk to see the Christmas lights downtown. Hang out here with me while I process some stuff, if you want, or not. This is actually all about me, and if it benefits you in some way, well I think that's just lovely.

Another Layer

The whole idea of the move from Taos to Portland was to streamline and simplify our lives. It's working. And I'm always on the lookout for things that can be added or subtracted to make life easier. Actual things that are allowed in have to be some combination of beautiful, fun, practical, and useful. They also have to fit nicely in our 571 square foot studio apartment. Other things, like my blogs for example, have to be fun to write, and at least have some potential of giving me something in return for the time I spend on them.

You see where I'm going with this?

The two food blogs, Positively Vegan and Eating Vegan In Portland are where my heart goes to sing and dance. I feel that they're my "work," or part of it, and my way of reaching out to the world. I even make a bit of income from them, and plan to expand on that in the near future.

I have a new jewelry product to offer! This is fun for me. After all those years of bead making, I still don't miss t…

My First Birthday in Portland

If it seems like all we do is play here, well, it's kind of true. Sure, we're piecing together just how we'll support our fun new lifestyle, but mostly we're exploring and enjoying it all for as long as we can get away with it. Last week was my birthday, so of course there were festivities to be observed.

We started with breakfast at the awesome Vita Cafe on Alberta St, followed by a cupcake pickup for later at Back to Eden Bakery. Then we sat down and ate even more cupcakes ay Petunia's. Don't judge me. Later we caught a river cruise along the Willamette, followed by dinner with our friends Jim and Lani, and their granddaughter, Chelsea. What a day! It was a great first birthday here, thanks to Portland, and all the players!

Next I'm off to San Jose to celebrate my Dad's 85th birthday. My family is opposed to having their pictures posted on my blogs (even though they never read a word I write...), but maybe I can sneak a few in next week. We'll se…

Groovin' to the Blues by the River

We spent (most of) the 4th of July weekend just a 10 minute walk from home, at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. We're not big on crowds, but since it was so close to where we live, it seemed kind of wrong not to participate. Besides, it benefitted the Portland Food Bank, and you know how I like to get people fed.

It was an amazingly well-organized festival, except for one little glitch on Friday, when they let so many "day people" in that the fire marshall closed the gates to re-entry in the afternoon. This meant that folks like us, who paid a bunch of money for a 4-day pass had to wait in line to get back in if we went home to feed the dogs, while others with ten bucks or a couple of cans of food to donate streamed in and settled in for the fireworks. Not cool, and I imagine they'll be hearing about it from plenty of people. We somehow managed to slip right back in though, thanks to a sweet volunteer who didn't really know the rules. Oh well!

Other than …

A Day at the Beach

It doesn't often get very hot here in Portland, but when it does, a lot of people head for the coast if they can. This week when the temp was predicted to reach 97, we joined the line of traffic and made our way to Cannon Beach. In the time it used to take us to get to Santa Fe from Taos we can be at the beach. That means we can pop over there whenever we want to, and I like that.

It was hot there too for a while, but not as hot as Portland, which did get to 97. And you know... it's the humidity that gets you. The coast was at least breezy, with a little bit of mist, and of course a whole lot of water to cool off in. We spent the day walking up and down the beach with the dogs, with a break for a picnic in the sand, and another for margaritas at a little place in town later in the afternoon.

By late afternoon we started to wish we could stay the night, and scoped out a couple of dog-friendly hotels for next time. Every time I go to the beach - any beach - I wonder why I don&#…

DC Made Me Dizzy

My whirlwind trip to Washington DC last week was both exhilarating and exhausting. The program I attended with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine was all I'd hope for, and actually a whole lot more. I came home loaded with information, both in my brain and in my suitcase, and now I have to spend time going back over all of it and really assimilating what I plan to teach.

I had imagined myself traveling up and down the west coast, mainly Portland, Seattle, and San Jose, teaching Food For Life classes in all three places, since I'm in all of them often. It looks likes I'll be mostly confined to Portland though, since there are FFL Instructors all over the country (and the world!) and we're pretty much required to stick to our own home area. It makes sense, but it's also kind of disappointing. Maybe I can get them to work around this little rule, since I've found that there are no classes being offered in Seattle, and the closest classes to San Jose are…

Off to DC

I'm posting early this week. It's going to be a busy one! I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for Washington DC, for the much anticipated PCRM Food For Life training. If you're unfamiliar with PCRM, they are the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, and they are all about prevention and reversal of disease through plant based diet. The program I'll be attending is designed for nurses, dietitians, and other health care professionals, but somehow I got in too! There was a pretty extensive interview process, and only 60 people were chosen this year. It's not an on-going thing that can just be signed up for. I'm really rather proud of myself.

This is exactly what I want to be doing in this part of my life - helping people who care about their health change their diets in simple, fun, tasty ways. I hope to soon be teaching lots of cooking classes here in Portland, as well as up and down the west coast. I'll talk more about it after I get back, b…

Seattle By Train

We knew Portland would be a great "hub" for us, positioned so conveniently between our families in California, Nevada, and Seattle. We've already seen several of these favorite people more in the last month than we used to in a year or more. I love it because it's no longer hard to say good-bye, knowing it could be a long time until the next visit. Now we just say "see you soon," and it's true.

I took the train up to Seattle last weekend, mostly to visit my daughter, because she invited me. But I was also lucky enough to get in some time with my son and his lovely wife, as well as my dear friend Sally. The train ride is inexpensive, almost as fast as driving, and much more beautiful a route than the highway, following the Columbia River much of the way. I plan to do this as often as I get the opportunity!

Let's Dance

I took a dance class at Bodyvox. It terrified me. It was not really a dance class. It was a stretch class in the form of dance. It was fun. It was scary. I felt awkward. I enjoyed it. I hated it. I wanted to hide. The mirrors made me very uncomfortable. I cried at the end when the instructor was kind to me. I'm trying to give myself permission to never go back. I'm also knowing that I need to go back.

What's making me so bunched up and creepy-weepy is the fact that I'm the New Girl. And not in a cute Zoey Deschanel sort of way. I'm almost 57. (Sheesh, how did that happen?) I've been in full stress mode for several months. I've gained weight. I feel lethargic and achy. Some days I sleep until almost 10:00! OH. MY. GOD. I am so not myself. And then, why would I be? I'm in a new city, where I know only a couple of people. I have no idea where my place is, where I fit in, what I'm supposed to do, or how I'm supposed to find it. I do not always like …