Even More Portland Miscellany!

Life for us Nomads right now is just small things happening every day – some good, some not-so-good, and some very, very sad.

Please pray for Strasbourg.
  • Brett and I are deeply grieving over the terrorist attack that took place on Monday in Strasbourg. The city is currently celebrating its annual Christmas market, so there were lots of locals and visitors out and around, and we can’t see the attack as anything but planned and intentional. They know who the terrorist is, and hopefully he will be caught soon. When we saw the path he took we knew exactly where it had happened, just a tram stop away from where we stayed and in an area where Brett and I had often walked. I hope you will hold Strasbourg in your thoughts and prayers.
  • Both Brett and I got our teeth repaired on Monday – yeah! Brett’s was a permanent fix but I will have to go back for more work when we return to Portland next May. The angle of the break made it look a bit scary at first because it appeared that part of fracture had occurred below the gum line. If so, it would mean a couple of extra procedures in order to attach a permanent crown. But, on closer examination the problem didn’t exist so I will only need a crown. I am also going to have the bridge on my lower teeth replaced this summer too – it’s almost 30 years old, and frankly a miracle that it’s still in place. Thank goodness for good dental insurance!

    I think we cleaned up pretty nicely!
  • We also both got our hair cut yesterday, and boy does it feel great! I am so glad I no longer have to walk around with whatever that thing was on my head. The host at one of the places we’re staying in New Zealand happens to be a stylist and you can arrange to have her do your hair during your stay in her home. It will be the perfect time for both Brett and I to get trimmed up again so I’m going to set that up and then we’ll only have to worry about finding a stylist later in Tokyo. There is no way I am going to let my hair get so long again. (First world problem, I know.)

    I wanted something useful made with marbled paper from Florence, and this phone case is perfect (apologies for the poor lighting).
  • It took me a while to decide to do it, but back while we were in Florence Brett and I decided it was time for me to upgrade my phone, so that’s something else we did on Monday. T-Mobile currently has an offer that let me trade in my old phone (almost four years old) making the new phone quite affordable. My old phone worked, but it was very slow when we were traveling compared to Brett’s newer model, and at times downright useless. As a sort of promise to myself, I bought a phone case when we were there for the new phone, one made with beautiful marbled Florentine paper. My Christmas present has been taken care of!

    I found a box of cheap tiny ornaments at Target and added some to the plastic succulent arrangement that’s on the coffee table in the house. We also bought a string of lights to hang around the doors in the living room, and along with our poinsettia we finally feel like we’re decorated for Christmas!
  • All of the gifts we bought for the girls are wrapped and ready to put out on Christmas morning. I’d love to show and tell what we got for them, but they may be reading the blog now in hopes that I would do just such a thing before Christmas. Brett and I came up with a plan before we set off and stuck to it, and were able to find everything we wanted all while staying within our budget. With one major exception the girls are pretty much getting the same things, but we’ve personalized each item to each girl’s taste. I still have to purchase a gift for my Secret Santa recipient but will take care of that once the girls are here.
  • It feels like ever since we arrived in Portland that we are hemorrhaging money – we seem to stop in at a grocery store almost daily, or at a Target to stock up on travel needs. I also got the new phone, we got our hair cut, etc. Intellectually I know we’re getting stuff done that needs to be done, and we’re getting ready for the girls who will be eating us out of house and home if past experience holds true. Travel stuff also has to be replaced. I think it’s because after just buying food for the two of us the past few months I’m having a somewhat difficult time now buying the amount of food required to feed five people. We’ve paid cash for everything and are still well with-in our budget, and under our daily spending average, but it still seems like it’s too much at times.

Can I just say again that we’re greatly enjoying our Portland “downtime” even if the weather is lousy? We’re getting plenty of rest, slowly getting over our jet lag, and we love being able to eat lots of Trader Joe’s and other goodies that we’ve missed these past few years. Our colds wax and wane depending on the weather, but on the whole they are diminishing every day. All that’s missing for us now are the girls, and they’ll be here next week!


17 thoughts on “Even More Portland Miscellany!

    1. She did a FABULOUS job – just a great experience over all! It was fun to see her again after so many years, and we’ve already decided that even though we’ll be staying over on the west side, we will make the effort to see her when it’s time to get our hair fixed.


  1. I an so saddened by the Strasbourg attacks as well – terrorist attacks are always awful but especially in this season of light and love.
    Hop you have a marvelous holiday with your girls!


    1. Well, they have apparently apprehended and killed the gunman, so he’s not a threat any more, but it will never be the same there again, Christmas season or not. I still wouldn’t hesitate to go back again. Lots of people there said/are saying they refuse to give in to hate and terrorism.


  2. I immediately thought of you when I read about the attack. I am so sorry for your loss. I felt that loss when a bus that we road daily in London was attacked a week after we left. We have both grief and resilience., That is something that the people who plan these things do not expect.

    I also understand the feeling of overspending. After six months of carefully planning for two, the family comes home. it is a bit nerve racking at first, but worth every penny in the end.


    1. I was so proud to read the reactions of residents in Strasbourg, and how quickly they stepped in to help the injured and dying, in spite of danger to themselves. They refuse to have their city give in to hate or fear.

      We are thankfully almost done with the food shopping – just two more (small) trips. I may have to go out to do some Christmas shopping with the girls, but I’m done so will just be an observer for that.


    1. I am so excited about us all being together. It’s so hard now that we only see them once a year. I try not to have too many expectations and that helps. We all get along well and seem to easily be able to slide right back into our comfortable unit.

      The case is much bluer than it photographed. I had a difficult time though making a selection – they were all beautiful.

      Love having my hair short again!


  3. I also thought of you guys when I heard of the attack, since I knew you had recently been in Strasbourg — and loved it so! And hey, the weather’s better today — it was dry for my very early morning run and sun is peaking through now and again! I also feel like I am hemorraging money this time of year, so you are not alone. And I am SO glad about your tooth!


  4. This time of year always feel like free falling financially to me, even though I know when I actually add up the numbers, it’s not really. And I love that phone case! Just beautiful. Like you, I love a good short haircut…got mine today.

    So sad about the Christmas market attacks. What a horrid person to steal the joy from people out enjoying the holidays. I thought of you and how much you loved Strasbourg immediately when I heard it. Just awful.

    Your Christmas prep sounds perfect, and I’m sure you’ll all have a grand time.


    1. We stopped by yet another store for a few things (make it stop! make it stop!) but will have to stop by Trader Joe’s for a few more things as well as take YaYu to the big Asian supermarket next week so it’s not over yet. But, the cupboards and fridge and freezer are bulging, so we’re almost there. I just don’t want to be having to run to the store once the girls are here.

      The stylist did a fabulous job on our hair – we will use her again when we’re here next summer although she will be way across town from us. She’s worth the drive though.

      We would still go back to Strasbourg in a heartbeat. But it’s so sad that for so many there their holiday season will forever be stained by this event. It was awful.


  5. I thought about you as soon as I heard about the attack. You made Strasbourg come so alive for us that I really felt for the people living there.
    I actually prefer the longer hair. Short requires too much maintenance. I trim my bangs myself Otherwise my hair is long. My mother has been trying to get me to cut it for years and I did have short hair with a perm for a while which just frizzled in the heat. Hated it and said I would never do that again.
    Off to watch the American Baking show. Not as good as the British version but enjoyable just the same


    1. I would so wear my hair long if it wasn’t so curly. I don’t have the “good” kind of curly hair either – my hair has always had a mind of its own and does what it wants to do. Bangs are out of the question – half would hang down one day, the other half would curl into some strange contortion. And then it would reverse itself a couple of days later. I can’t blow-dry my hair either – it looks good for an hour or two and then begins to frizz. So, short hair it is these days! It stays neat and manageable as long as I keep it short enough.

      I need to check out the American baking show. We have all these cable channels here and have barely watched anything!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I so hear you about wanting the spend to stop even if budgeted. At a certain point it’s just no longer fun, most particularly for us under-spenders!

    Love your short hair, the first time, I think, I’ve ever seen it via photo.

    And such wise words about not setting expectations when preparing for your girls to come home, but rather just awaiting for whatever comes. I think I’ve been guilty of this at times, now that our girls are grown and living on their own. You are correct that the most wonderful times are often spontaneous, and not the outcome of some carefully contrived planning.I

    P.S. Heading to San Clemente for some fun in the sun this morning, my fourth time there this week. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shopping at Trader Joe’s the first time was fun, everything else not so much. I am just tired of spending money event though almost everything we’ve bought has been necessary.

      I learned about not setting expectations the first time our son came home from school. He had changed but I hadn’t in some ways and it took me a while to let things go and accept they weren’t going to be how they were before. I’m just looking forward to us being together and enjoying each other’s company. Brett and I will be done with what we need to do, so we’ll let the girls direct how the days go by what they need or want to do.

      I would LOVE to be in San Clemente now. We have looked at it as a possible location to settle, but it’s pretty much out of our range these days – rents there are higher than they were in Hawai’i, housing prices too!

      I was told my curly hair would “relax” as it turned gray – no, it’s gotten worse. The shorter I keep it, the better. It has a real mind of its own beyond a certain stage. The first time my mom saw it this short she freaked out – “where are your curls!” She never got how much of a pain in the neck those curls could be!


  7. As others have said, I immediately thought of your trip to Strasbourg when I heard about the attack. A week after I was in Japan, a deranged man set himself on fire on the bullet train–the exact same train I had been on the week before. There are a lot of scary things going on these days, but we can’t give in to fear. I often think of relatives who lived during WWII and wonder how they dealt with what was probably an even scarier time.

    Sounds like you’re having fun preparing for the holidays and spending time with your daughters. I’ve been staying away from Trader Joe’s because it’s crazy there this time of year. The one near me has a very small parking lot and people fight over spaces, so I’m not going back until after New Year’s!


    1. I read a comment on another blog I read from someone who is in Strasbourg right now – security is very, very tight but people are out and about again and enjoying the Christmas market and the festivities. I would love to be there – I miss that city. I agree that we can’t live in fear – that’s what the terrorists want and hope for.

      We made the mistake of going to Trader Joe’s the first time on a Sunday. Talk about crazy! It’s their busiest day, but we had forgotten. Our trip there yesterday, a Saturday, wasn’t as bad. They have so many (too many) tempting treats, but we stuck to our list and made it out OK.


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