Sunday Morning 6/30/2019: Week 7 in Portland

We couldn’t resist this bit of summer at the farmers’ market for just $5!

Where did June go, and how did it go so quickly? I can barely believe it’s the end of of the month already, but here we are. We have two full months coming up in the Rose City (otherwise known as Stumptown, Rip City, Bridgetown, etc.) but if they’re anything like this past month they are going to fly by.

Entrance to the Japanese Garden in Washington Park.
I loved this small, mossy stone lantern tucked away in the garden

This past week started out OK with a visit to the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. I visited the Rose Garden several times when we lived here, but had never gone in June when EVERYTHING was in full bloom – it was almost overwhelming because the blossoms were so lush. Brett and I strolled around checking out as much as we could. Although I don’t care for growing roses, I love the big blossoms especially when they are multi-toned or -colored, and we saw quite a few. I also like unusual colors – my favorite was a solid light violet color hybrid tea called Neptune.

The entire Rose Garden was an explosion of blooms, and filled with wonderful aromas.
This rose, Neptune, looks a bit pink in the photo but was actually a beautiful shade of pale violet that I’d never seen before.

The week ended nicely as well but the middle was a bit of a challenge. I had a tickle in my throat last Sunday which segued into a nasty cough and sore throat, and by Wednesday I was miserable and stayed that way on Thursday. However, if I had to be sick, those were the two days for it- both Wednesday and Thursday were cold and stormy/rainy. Poor Brett had to go out in the lousy weather both days, to his Japanese class on Wednesday, and then to the dentist on Thursday.

Our dental woes and the associated expenses continue. Brett learned last Monday that he needs three fillings, a deep scaling (which was started this past week), and at least one but probably two crowns as well. It never rains but it pours. He’s seeing a different dentist than I am, one located nearer to our apartment, and his costs appear to thankfully be less than mine (although still not cheap). Anyway, our teeth should be in good/better shape when we leave Portland although our wallets are going to be very empty after we finish paying for all of this work.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished The Tattooist of Auschwitz early in the week. I know it’s a popular bestseller, based on a true story, but I just didn’t warm to it as much as I thought I would. I’m still trying to figure out why although I know it’s more about the writing versus the story. I also finished The Big Book of Less, by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst, about downsizing and living simply in all aspects of life (with just the first chapter about living with less stuff). I just downloaded and started Kazuo Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans last night.
  • Listening to: Brett is rustling around in the kitchen, making coffee, and doing other chores. He is coughing a lot now, but it’s hard to tell whether he picked up my cough or if it’s from allergies. It’s very quiet outside, so far at least.
  • Watching: We’re continuing to watch episodes of Father Brown, and it’s fun seeing the British stars that have been appearing. Tonight we’ll also watch another episode of Big Little Lies. We caught the first episode of Years and Years (on HBO) last Monday evening and all I can say is WOW! I cannot wait to watch another episode again tomorrow evening. We also enjoyed seeing the Academy Award-winning Into the Spider-Verse this past week – it’s currently streaming on Netflix.
  • Cooking: We’re having meatballs tonight along with some roasted vegetables. Other things appearing on the menu this week will be chicken in Thai red curry sauce, zoodles with meat sauce, stir-fried pork and cabbage, and our Friday night pizza (bacon cheeseburger this week).
    The iconic Portland sign outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on SW Broadway, one of Portland’s most famous landmarks.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: We went downtown on Monday to mail the second giveaway prize, and returned a book at the library. I checked out two books but Brett is already reading one of them (the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biography – I decided to wait for the ebook version). While we were downtown we walked around for a while and revisited some of Portland’s landmarks and parks (glad we didn’t go yesterday – there was a pretty nasty demonstration). We walked over to the farmers’ market on Tuesday morning and bought four pints of strawberries, two pints of Rainier cherries (my favorite), some zucchini, and some flowers for the apartment. On Tuesday afternoon we went to visit the Japanese and Rose Gardens, a perfect day to go, which made us glad our visit had been initially delayed. On Wednesday and Thursday I stayed indoors with my cough and sore throat and rested, but Friday I felt better and we went for a short hike, and yesterday we took a longer hike. I filled out all of my goals card (only missed two days of walking), and got a set of cards made up for next month. I moved up a level in Japanese!
  • Looking forward to next week: Once again there’s not a whole lot on our calendar and I’m grateful for it. Brett has more dental work coming up next week, goes to Japanese class on Wednesday evening and his calligraphy class on Saturday, but we haven’t decided what else we’d like to do or where we’d like to go otherwise. We’ve talked about heading over to Pittock Mansion in NW Portland – it’s always an interesting place to tour – but getting there on public transportation will require some extra effort. For the Fourth of July we’re going to walk over to the OHSU campus and see if we can catch some of the city’s fireworks from the Kohler Pavilion balcony.
    WenYu hanging out at the BT21 Line Friends store.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: WenYu visited Meiling in NYC this past week for a two-day getaway. They both would have liked to for her to stay longer, but she begins her internship (at Harvard!) tomorrow. YaYu called to let me know that after a month in Japan she has decided to embrace the experience (finally) and is going to try and get out and experience as much as she can. To this I say YEAH! She was a bit scared at first about being over there on her own, but visited two different places on her own last weekend and decided it wasn’t so bad after all and this weekend plans to go out and walk for as far as she can and then take the train back. My sore throat and cough could have ended up being a whole lot worse, but thankfully only lasted a couple of days. I’m thinking allergies may have been the cause, and that the rain on Wednesday and Thursday settled all the pollen (for a while) because I felt much better after the rain. Finally, I could really sense a difference this past week in how my clothes are fitting. I’m not sure if I’ve lost any weight, or how much, but things are changing for the better anyway.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: Other than our trip to the farmers’ market we had a no-spend week, and put $7.90 in our change/$1 bill bag. We’ve decided to cash in our savings the week before we leave and purchase British currency with it.
    When they were small: Fourth-grader Meiling, second-grader WenYu, and kindergartener YaYu (the photo was taken by their beloved school secretary). I love that YaYu’s shirt and pants were originally Meiling’s, then worn by WenYu before being passed to YaYu.
  • Grateful for: I’ve probably expressed this before, but both Brett and I are so thankful that our three daughters get along so well with each other, and support each other in their undertakings. It’s gratifying to hear about them getting together outside of family gatherings, and open themselves up to new experiences. They had their moments growing up, and we sometimes wondered how things were going to turn out between them, but they’ve worked out their issues (well, most of them) and they really are best friends these days,
  • Bonus question: What’s your morning routine? The absolute best part of being retired is that my mornings these days are mine. With only a few exceptions now and then, I wake up when I’m ready to get up and I do what I want at my own pace – no more alarm clocks, and no more running around like crazy. The first thing I do in the morning is drink a 16-ounce glass of water. Unless I am posting on the blog (which I do first), I check my email, Facebook, and Instagram, read through my favorite blogs, and finally go through my Twitter feed. If I see an interesting article or something else that piques my interest, I’ll read further about that. Afterwards I play my favorite game (Matchington Mansion) for a few minutes. I got hooked on it when I was in Japan – C and I used to play together. Then I make the bed and get ready for the day (the house is picked up/cleaned before I go to bed). Besides the glass of water I also drink two cups of coffee and one can of Diet Coke. I love the stuff but I don’t  have any caffeine after noon drink it in the late mornings now. I also fix and eat breakfast somewhere in there as well clean the kitchen and get all the morning dishes into the dishwasher. It’s a very relaxing start to my day!

We had another weird week of weather here – it got very chilly again the two days it rained, but then summer came back and we’re into the 80s again. I am appreciating the cooler days when we get them though because I know it’s going to get HOT later on in the summer (like the high 90s and into the 100s for a few days), and Portland just doesn’t do hot weather very well. Looking at the bright side though, at least I won’t be suffering from any humidity.

I hope you all had a great week, that lots of good things happened for you, and that you’re looking forward to the coming week. Don’t forget too that there’s still a few more days to enter the giveaway for the Japanese kitchen set – you can enter until midnight PST on Sunday, July 3.


12 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 6/30/2019: Week 7 in Portland

  1. The girls were adorable. We had the great migration of hand-me-downs, too. Pants never made it, but most other things did:) When it gets so hot I use our air-conditioning..come up and enjoy the guest room. Also..while I am gone in August from are welcome to hang out here. Evan will be here and gone so house to yourselves, mostly. Even if you just come for hottest part of the day.


    1. The girls were adorable then – that was one of two years they were all in the same school and life was easy. If there had been one more we would have had to buy all new clothes for her – YaYu was VERY tough on clothes and nothing ever survived. Thank goodness for handed down clothes and thrift stores!

      We may take you up on your offer! I keep thinking back to those two days that were up near 100 degrees and am not sure I could do a week or more of that, even with fans.


  2. I found that the writing of the Tattooist was rather poor when she transitioned from the story she knew (his) to the story she did not (hers). It was more of an autobiography. I once read Jackie Robinson’s autobiography. It was awkward as well. Read Before We Were Yours. That was a good book. Just began Silent Woman.
    Sorry about your throat and teeth, but in the end it is a great place to be alive in!


    1. I think you’re right about the difference in writing about him versus her, that she knew the man’s story better. I think what bothered me the most is that she wrote a pretty little store that happened to take place in one of the most horrific places on earth. She related some of the bad things that happened, but never showed the constant fear and stress the two main characters (and everyone there) lived under, and the overwhelming affect it must have had on their relationship.

      Thanks for the other book recommendations – I’m going to check them out.

      I am glad we’re here to get all this dental work done, expensive or not. We’ll be better for it in the long run.


  3. We got hit with dental bills for both of us in May – they’re painful in more ways than one. 😦 But there’s no good alternative to the upkeep. Sorry to hear you got sick! Hopefully it was allergies (they’re really bad here in the Midwest this year!) and you’re good to go for the summer.

    My mornings are my own now, too, and it’s really lovely. I’ve been waking up with the daylight, which is just before 6 right now. I love long days and drinking coffee and tea in bed with a good book. And if I get out and walk early, it’s not too hot and humid yet. I tend to eat later (10 or 11) now, as I am not hungry immediately when I wake up and have no deadline to eat sooner. Really love retirement. 🙂


    1. Neither Brett nor I received good dental care when we were young (for example, neither of us got any fluoride – the water in Brett’s home came from a well, and in my town fluoride was considered a Communist plot that would lead to the downfall of America). We got lots of sweets and both of us got very little instruction about proper dental hygiene (i.e. flossing, brushing after every meal, etc.). We are paying for that now with our dental issues. We raised our kids differently and none of them has ever had a cavity!

      I wish I was an early riser, and I have tried to change my body clock, but it’s never taken. Waking up every morning to an alarm was hellish for me, and not the best way to start the day, especially when I had to make breakfast and lunch, and drive the kids all over. I am so enjoying having my time be my own these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We both had the drill & fill dentists of the ’50s and ’60s and that creates its own problems. Those fillings don’t last forever and we both have multiple crowns. Still better to have our own teeth, though, as I watched so many of my grandparents’ generation struggle with dentures.

        Following your own body clock is one of the joys of our stage in life, I think. We all knew if we stopped by to visit my grandmother at 10AM she would still be in her “house coat” LOL


  4. My dental bills are awful. I am 59, and it seems like every tooth in my head needs work. If I could get the time off from work, I swear I would go to Mexico to get the work done far cheaper. I just need to keep working right now, so I have to suck up the dental bills


    1. I read an article the other day about why dental insurance and dental care costs so much – much of it has to do with how much we use our teeth, and the fact that there aren’t a lot of alternative options for care. Also, some of us are “blessed” with teeth that are not as good as others so it ends up costing us more, especially as we age. We too have talked about going to Mexico for dental care (my implants) – in Europe we heard one of the places to go is Malta. Both offer good dental care for less. We feel very luck to have good dental insurance, but we still end up paying A LOT.


  5. My mom would love the roses. She used to have 200 bushes They are very difficult to grow in Florida,
    I’m glad you are feeling better.
    I get my new tooth tomorrow. Hopefully no more dentist bills this year.
    Unless I have somewhere to be I usually get up at 9:00 in the morning. Have a banana or oatmeal for breakfast. Like you I am not a morning person and I don’t really get going until the afternoon.


  6. I cleaned out and reorganized my kitchen last week, and the chopsticks and rests from your last giveaway that I won are now front and center in my cutlery drawer! I think of you every time I open it 🙂 I wish I had time to come up for a visit while you’re in Portland! I only got to Grant’s Pass and had one heck of a hike at Mt. McLoughlin. But crazily enough, it will soon be time for you to settle down in San Clemente and then you can bet we’ll be seeing each other!


  7. My favorite roses, hands down, are the light lavender kind. They typically smell amazing. We are enjoying the sunshine on the Oregon coast & have been getting small projects done around the house. Yesterday was a lazy day, so today I need to get it together. My parents, & sister’s family arrive tomorrow.


Comments are closed.