Sunday Morning 07/14/2019: Week 9 in Portland

Our view of Mt. Hood from our table at the Chart House on Friday afternoon – a perfect summer afternoon in Portland!

This past week was another lovely, low-key one. Earlier in the week I might have said it was almost boring, but a couple of exciting things came about to put a spring in our step. I will tell about them in a couple of weeks, but they’re staying secret for now.

I did not make it to my dental appointment on Monday because I woke up with a terrific sore throat, bad enough that I could barely open my mouth that morning let alone swallow. My throat felt a little sore on Sunday evening before I went to bed, but it was raging next morning and I knew there was no way I could manage having the dentist try to work inside my mouth (plus I was scared of infection). Thankfully the pain had mostly subsided by Monday evening which makes me think the whole thing was allergy related (and, it came back last night with a vengeance but is thankfully feeling better this morning). I have never had to deal with allergies before, but this spring/summer in Portland I’ve had to deal with a drippy nose, stuffed sinuses, now these sore throats. Anyway, my dental appointment was rescheduled to this coming Wednesday morning.

And, to sort of add insult to injury this week I went through one of my bi-annual rounds of insomnia, although it seems to be over now (or at least I hope it’s over). The inability to sleep always just sort of shows up without any warning, and I’ve learned there’s nothing much I can do to end it – it’s over when it’s over. I cut back on the amount of caffeine I take in, read before going to bed and avoid other electronics (well, somewhat), but otherwise it’s something I just have to roll with it. Thankfully I usually don’t have to get up early these days for anything, and most mornings I can sleep in (although that can help contribute to keeping me up late at night), but I’m thinking this is one of those old people things that has crept up on me and that I have to deal with from time to time. My grandmother and my mom kept waking up earlier and earlier in the morning (and going to bed earlier and earlier in the evening) as they grew older which for me would be far worse than staying up late into the night because I can’t fall asleep.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I’m currently reading Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar, who wrote a book I read earlier, Heart. We are currently living among several medical students, interns and residents and I thought this one about being a physician would be an interesting read and so far it is. I put four more books on hold at the library and am now hoping they won’t all come in at once.
  • Listening to: It’s very quiet here this morning – Brett is reading and I’m sitting here sipping my coffee and writing. There’s absolutely nothing going on outside. I sure don’t miss all the noise we put up with on Kaua’i (screaming roosters, barking dogs, etc.) although I do miss hearing the bird songs – they were lovely – and sound of the breeze blowing through the palm trees.
  • Watching: We finished Stranger Things, Season 3 (which was great but it looks like this was the end of the series), but we still have a few more episodes of Big Little Lies and Years and Years to go, and a couple more seasons of Father Brown. I thought the actor that plays Father Brown (Mark Williams) looked familiar – he played Arthur Weasley in all the Harry Potter films! Brett and I have also started watching a new-to-us season of The Great British Bake-Off that we had somehow missed before – they’re always fun to watch.
  • Cooking: We’re having chicken lettuce wraps tonight because they didn’t end up getting made last week. Tomorrow I’m fixing pork carnitas in the slow cooker with the roast we bought week before last, and we’ll be having carnitas tacos/lettuce wraps, and then we’ll have those leftovers during the week. Also on the menu will be Snake Alley Zoodles, zucchini frittata with sausages, and our Friday night pizza (with roasted tomatoes, salami, fresh mozzarella and basil this week).
    There were no strawberries this week, but we did get raspberries, blueberries and boysenberries at the farmers’ market as well as zucchini and a bunch of red onions.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: We went to the farmers’ market on Tuesday for some more berries and also picked up some red onions and zucchini. On Thursday we picked up a Zipcar and accomplished what is hopefully our last Portland Big Shop at Costco and Trader Joe’s. If we run out of anything after this we’ll head to the downtown Safeway, or Brett will stop at the NW Trader Joe’s after his calligraphy class. Other than getting my goals card filled in for another week I don’t think either of us accomplished any other notable things – neither of us felt particularly ambitious.
    No flowers from the farmers’ market this week as every bouquet contained goldenrod (= allergies), but we did salvage the chrysanthemums from last week’s bouquet to add to a bunch of lovely purple tulips from Trader Joe’s.
  • Looking forward to next week: We want to visit the Oregon Zoo while we’re here, and hope to go one afternoon this week as it’s always fun – we’re sad though that the Zoo Train is no longer operating. Whether we go will depend on the weather because we don’t want to go if it’s too hot or raining. Otherwise we’re just going to take it easy and see what we feel like doing each day.
    We enjoyed adult beverages and . . .
    . . . “small” plates at the Chart House. The above is kim chee fried calimari and baby octopus, and we also had fried artichokes, seared ahi nachos, and chicken lettuce wraps. Everything was delicious!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: We had an absolutely wonderful time at the Old People’s Happy hour with our friend Joan on Friday. The view from the Chart House was magnificent, and for not a whole lot we each had a drink and shared four tasty small plates. The conversation was pretty wonderful too. Our daughter-in-law sent us lots of photos from their getaway last week – they went RVing (a rental) on the Izu Penninsula. I did not know RVing was a thing you could do in Japan, but apparently it is. YaYu’s pictures from the outing were nice as well – on their last day they visited a mountain top amusement park shrouded in fog that looked like a set from the movie Spirited Away! I got to talk with all three of the girls this week, which is always a treat. Meiling always has a cooking question or two these days, WenYu is living the good life, but YaYu is feeling a bit homesick.
    We filled the back of our Zipcar when we did our Big Shop last week.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: I’m not quite sure how we managed it, but we actually spent less than budgeted on our big shop, even though we added a couple of items that were not on our lists. Otherwise we did our usual frugal things, like having as many no-spend days as possible, eating all our leftovers, and not throwing away any food, and we put $11.13 into the change/$1 bag.
    Brett spotted a big bush of ocean spray buried deep in the forest near our place – beautiful! (However, these days I can’t walk through the forest without wondering if anything out there might possibly be causing allergies!)
  • Grateful for: I’ve been so thankful for the beautiful weather we enjoyed so far this summer and hope it continues. The mornings have been cool and a bit overcast changing to sunshine and warmth in the afternoon. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get some high temperatures later in the summer, but for now I grateful for the perfect sleeping weather, and good weather for enjoying being outside in the afternoon.
  • Bonus question: If you were given $1000 that you could spend only on yourself, how would you use it? This question came up again this week, and after some thought I came up with two answers. I would love to just give it away, but if I can’t I have always admired southwest Native American silver and turquoise jewelry and $1000 would buy something very nice, maybe a necklace and a bracelet or some earrings. On the other hand, I really don’t need more stuff so it’s more likely I would spend it on an experience. After some thought I decided I would probably put it toward a luxury spa getaway in a beautiful setting because not only would I be spending all the money on myself but I’d be getting to travel a bit as well. Going to a spa is not an experience that I would have chosen in the past, but these days I think I’d like the chance to be completely pampered and come away from somewhere feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, along with maybe having learned a few new ways to take better care of myself. (Brett couldn’t answer this question, by the way – he couldn’t think of anything other than a couple of small items he needs/wants).

We are well over the halfway mark of our stay in Portland, with just a little over six weeks left to go in the Rose City. There are still people to see and places to go and things we want to do, but overall it has been a wonderful visit so far and we’re looking forward to the time we have remaining. Future plans are beginning to settle into place but we’re already glad we’ll be back in Portland next December (even if the weather will most likely be miserable).

I hope you all had a great week and that lots of good things happened for you! Can’t wait to see and hear what this coming week brings.


18 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 07/14/2019: Week 9 in Portland

  1. Your view is lovely and the tulips are gorgeous! Hurricane Barry only brought lower temps here, and a little rain, so it has been pleasant. My friends in Baton Rouge tell me that it has been fine “hurricane party” weather….a little rain and wind, but not too much, electricity still on, and everybody is able to get together and eat shrimp and grits!


    1. So, so happy to hear that Hurricane Barry wasn’t the killer it was predicted to be. I saw there was flooding in New Orleans, but nothing as horrific as what happened with Katrina.

      One of the big reasons we’re so happy we chose to stay over on the west side of the city this time is the views! There are views over on the eastside, but nothing like we’re seeing over here.


      1. Yeah Mobile and Balwin Counties are having slight flooding issues with 6 to 8 inches of rain, and south Mississippi is getting soaked, but this one in nothing like Katrina.

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    1. We love Spirited Away too – it’s my favorite Miyazaki movie although I will always love My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. When we saw YaYu’s photo our first message back to her was, “Don’t eat anything!” She wrote back, “See you on the other side of the Haku River!” LOL.

      She’s in Japan until the last week of August. She’s feeling homesick, but getting out more on her own. Yesterday she took C out to see Toy Story 4 and said that was a wild experience, but she managed.


  2. Everything looks beautiful. Still extremely hot here. My air conditioner backed up yesterday and I didn’t know until I came home and discovered the floor had warped. Oh well.
    If I had a $1000 dollars (does spending it on the house count?) I would buy books for my kindle. I could read for two or three years on that.


    1. No, you wouldn’t be able to spend the $1000 on the house, but $1000 worth of books sounds wonderful, and you’re right . . . it’s two to three years worth of reading.


  3. Ha! My first thought when I read your bonus question was as many massage sessions as that could buy. I love my masseuse and would see her weekly if I was rich. Alas, I am not. 🙂

    Our house is quiet this morning as the kids and grands just left after a long weekend visit. We had a family wedding, a birthday, and lots of kid activities. Sprinklers on the lawn, Big Wheels in the driveway, and puzzles and Legos indoors when it got too hot. Fun times and we will sleep well tonight!

    Your insomnia sounds awful, as do the allergies. Hope you get some sleep soon. I woke at 4AM this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. For some reason, I have a few random nights like that each month lately. I would say it’s the heat, but it happens in winter too, so I am guessing it’s aging. ;-p


    1. $1000 worth of massages would be pretty awesome!

      The insomnia is awful, and I just have to wait it out. I’m sort of hoping that because I got over my jet lag so quickly maybe the insomnia will pass quickly this time as well. However, last night I didn’t fall asleep until after 4:30 a.m. so it may take awhile. The allergies have been a bit of a surprise, to be honest. I never suffered from them before, but we’re up here with all these plants and pollen and it’s having an effect. The worse part is the sore throats coming and going – ugh.

      Your weekend sounds lovely!!


      1. There must be something in the air in the NW. My DH lived in the Seattle area for a while before we were married and developed allergies which he never had before that.


      2. Brett is suffering way more than I am. I had forgotten how bad his allergies were before we moved. I used to only get the occasional (bad) sinus headaches; the drippy nose and sore throats are something new for me this time.


  4. Just a heads up about the zoo. We were there a couple days ago and, due to major renovations, about half the zoo is closed down. And the prices were higher than I’ve ever seen. Almost $20 for an adult ticket to miss half the zoo! I was really quite irritated at the whole thing. (Just ask my husband, he didn’t go, but the poor guys sat and listened very patiently to my rant.) There were no polar bears, primates, hippos, Amazon rainforest area, and tundra animals, and I feel like something else was closed/gone, but I can’t remember. Thank goodness my cousin graciously included my kids in her membership, so I didn’t have to pay for them too. But the zoo is probably not worth it for my family anymore. I hate to imagine how they are going to rise prices once the renovations are done, in over a year!


    1. Wow – thank for this information! I have always enjoyed visiting the Oregon Zoo, but it sounds like something we can miss this time, especially with the higher admission prices and half the zoo closed.


  5. It sounds like a lovely week, aside from the insomnia and sore throat. We just finished the final episode of Stranger Things last night. So good! Did you happen to watch after the credits of the last episode? There was something there that makes me think there will be a season 4. 🙂


    1. Oh no! Now I’m going to have to go back and watch the credits on that last episode. I would LOVE it if there’s another season (and it’s as good as the first three).

      Last week was a good one; this one is going OK although we seem to be having to make more changes on the fly to deal with the insomnia. I have an early dental appointment tomorrow and I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to wake up in time to get there!


      1. Yes, definitely go back and watch after the credits. 🙂 I did a quick google search and the director was quoted in an interview saying that the show will continue through season 4 although the show hasn’t officially been renewed by Netflix for season 4. Fingers crossed that it is because I really enjoy the characters and plot.

        Hope your dental appointment goes well!


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