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.
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 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.